Stay of Eviction Granted Due to Fair Housing Act

January 9, 2020

A recent civil court case in New York raises interesting questions about landlord/tenant disputes that are complicated by issues of incapacitation and guardianship. In E & V Acquisition, LLC v Margaret H., a New York landlord sought the eviction of an elderly woman determined to be incapacitated. Concerns about insect and rodent infestations compelled them to seek possession of the apartment and to evict the woman for breaching the stipulation settlement agreed upon with her appointed guardian.

Eventually, the court applied the Fair Housing Act, which requires landlords to provide reasonable accommodations that allow handicapped tenants to remain in their residences. Additionally, Margaret’s guardian argued that any breach of the landlord’s stipulation was not enough to deny the life state her family provided for her in the building they had previously owned. Margaret was given a stay of eviction and six months to keep the apartment clean and comply with the landlord’s requirements.

Article 81 and Guardianship for the Incapacitated

Article 81 of New York’s Mental Hygiene Law permits the court to appoint a guardian for an individual who is unable to manage their own personal and financial affairs. In New York, guardianships are designed specifically for the needs and limitations of the person who is incapacitated. While every case is unique, a guardian can potentially:

  • Oversee the person’s finances, including paying bills, collecting assets, and managing investments
  • Ensure the person’s living space is clean and safe, and offers essentials, such as heat, food, and water
  • Coordinate medical care, including correspond with physicians, manage medical records, and obtain Medicaid, if applicable

Guardians are often the first to see signs of others taking advantage of an incapacitated person. Whether it is physical or financial abuse, the guardian always acts with their ward’s interests in mind. They can move quickly to protect the person and report any concerns to the property authorities.

Appointing a Guardian

If you feel someone in your life is mentally or physically unable to make smart and safe decisions about their own health and well-being, you can petition the court to appoint a guardian. From there, a court evaluator conducts a thorough investigation into your concerns and reports back to the court with their results. They also provide their opinion as to your loved one’s needs and limitations and whether guardianship is recommended. A hearing is then scheduled to make a final determination about guardianship. Your Brooklyn guardianship attorney can assist you throughout the process and answer any questions you may have about what a guardian’s responsibilities and obligations are under New York law.

Brooklyn Guardianship Attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Handle All Elder Care Matters with Care and Compassion

It is never easy to accept that a family member is no longer able to care for themselves. Guardianship is an incredibly important form of protection for those who cannot advocate for themselves. The Brooklyn guardianship attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP take the time to understand your family’s concerns and recommend the best legal course of action to protect your loved one. Call us at 212-495-8133 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation today. Located in Brooklyn, New York and Lakewood, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York.