A Landlord Resorts to Outrageous Tactics to Kick Out Elderly Tenants

For over 30 years, Maria (age 71) and Armando (age 91) had been perfect tenants. They paid their rent on time, maintained their apartment, and never called attention to themselves. But then a new landlord purchased their building. Almost immediately, he began harassing long-term tenants like Maria and Armando, in the hopes that they would move out so that he could replace them with new tenants paying higher rent.

First, the landlord turned off the gas, preventing the elderly couple from taking hot showers or cooking warm meals on their stove. Though Maria and Armando were disturbed, they were living on a fixed income and stayed because they could not afford to move. The landlord, frustrated that his unethical tactics didn’t work, screamed at them: “If you won’t leave, then you get no more water!” and he turned off the water. Maria and Armando were forced to visit their neighbor to bathe or use the toilet. But still they stayed. One night, the landlord stormed into their apartment and actually removed their front door – took it right off the hinges. For good measure, he also removed their mailbox.

At this point, Maria and Armando were fed up and came to ICLC for help. Our team immediately demanded that the landlord restore water and gas service and that the door and mailbox be reinstalled. When we visited the property to ensure that the repairs had been made, the landlord’s contractor outrageously claimed that the water had been “restored” because there was a garden hose outside which he insisted that Maria and Armando could drag up the stairs to use in their apartment.

After extensive negotiations with the landlord’s attorney failed, ICLC prepared and was about to file a court complaint. At the last hour, the landlord arrived at our office with a check for $18,300 in relocation costs. Maria and Armando used this money to move and are quite happy in their new home.