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Every so often the Schenectady Police Department puts out the listing of sex offenders. This one is from last April. Sorry I didn’t get it up here sooner.

I don’t know what the laws are regarding renting to sex offenders, but you as the landlord should certainly know that’s who you’re renting to. However you may not know it until its too late.

If you have a question on your application asking if the potential tenant has been convicted, and the potential tenant doesn’t tell you, then you would have a case for eviction.

Anyway, here’s Schenectady’s List as of last April: sex offenders list April 2010

New York State has grown up a bit more with Internet access to its records. This is a boon to Landlords who are prequalifying tenants.
One of the things that every Landlord should do is to perform a Tenant Check on all applicants. That has some cost to it but would be helpful during the screening process. It isn’t fail safe however, but could be used if the tenant violates any terms of the lease.

New York State has what is called “eCourt” on line. This screenshot shows half of the opening screen when you call up the following link. (Please note that you will have to copy and paste the link into your browser)

http: //

When you go to the website you will have to scroll down and manually enter the characters into the text box in order to proceed. That is to prevent data mining and web bots from using this facility.

The next screen to appear is the various searches you can do for whatever cases you wish to find out. For this posting we will look for a “party search” where you can enter the first few letters of your potential tenant’s name. Also, the case type would be LT for Landlord-Tenant.

The search I did created this response with one record. However, depending upon your search it could create thousands of records so just be aware of that.

Its a great tool to use, but it too is not fail-safe. Misspellings can and do occur although overall that appears to be minor.


Council leader pushes dual tax-rate plan 
    The city will need state approval to create a new tax system that would charge landlords more than owner-occupants.
    …    “Our costs are driven by absentee landlords,” McCarthy said.

January 20th, 2010

This is only a clip of the article. We will get more information on it and what their process is.

1. Always start evictions immediately. If tenants need extra time, the court will give it to them.

2. You don’t make a profit with evictions. You only cut your losses.

3. You’ve already supplied the “needy” tenant with free housing. You have done your charity work, give someone else a chance.

4. If the tenant doesn’t have a friend or relative to help him out, doesn’t that say a lot about the tenant’s character?

5. If someone asks you how you could put someone on the street, ask them to pay the rent and you won’t evict them.

6. The tenant has kept possession of your house and is stealing from you. He has stolen your home, your utilities and your services. The tenant is a thief. Do stores let your tenant go in and take from them?

7. Letting a tenant stay in your house who is not paying rent is like giving your tenant your charge card and telling him, “Feel free to spend. I like loaning out money interest free without knowing I’ll be paid back”.

8. How would you feel if you worked all week and your employer said I don’t have a paycheck for you. Guess what your tenant has just told you that! Do you work for nothing?

9. If you want to maintain your apartment and let the occupants live there rent free, you should decide who the occupants will be, not your tenant. There are lots of people you may find more deserving.

10. Your tenant is taking money, time and energy from you, which you could use to provide for your family’s needs. Picture yourself trying to tell your child that you could not buy him or her an item because you had to pay a stranger’s rent so the stranger could buy gifts for his or her child.

From Mr. LandLord December 1992

At least in Judge Guido Loyola’s court room.

Apparently the entire proceeding is tape recorded by the court and if you decide to make any appeals, the transcriber types the transcription from the recording.

Normally you would think the courtroom atmosphere would be solemn and professional, but not in Judge Loyola’s. Here you have people talking out of turn and giving testimony without restraint by way of being sworn in. It makes it difficult for the transcriber to transcribe.

Also, as I stated in an earlier post, I believe the defendants walked out with evidence. But what the hell, courts lose evidence all the time, right?

Be prepared for a show if you end up in a trial before Loyola. You will be amazed.

Update November 21, 2009 .. Trial Transcript (*note is password protected so you must email in order to read it)

Update November 21, 2009 .. Appeal to Count Court (*is password protected also. Follow the above instructions to read)

Updated December 1, 2009 .. Strange Judgement (*password protected)

Are they all just liars? And here I’m talking about evictees and SCAP. I’d swear THEY were in cahoots to claim fraud against a landlord in our Court System.

Case in point, my own. The tenants I was evicting were not yet on welfare. I don’t accept welfare and they were not paying the rent. We go to court and the woman holds up the “Tenants Rights Manual” and says, “If I can prove that the apartment wasn’t habitable then I don’t have to pay the rent.”

Here I have a lease with them, I have signatures, we went through the rental application process, I know where they work and the flat was fully inspected and granted a rental certificate.

What they did was pull up the carpeting and photographed the old pad below it, they pushed up the ceiling tiles in the suspended ceiling and photographed the space in between. They crouched to photograph the wall behind and below the clawfoot tub (which couldn’t be fixed because you couldn’t get to it so it was old) and they killed the ants that came to their trash that they were leaving outside the back door, and photographed those.

And where do I think they got those ideas? SCAP.

Now my neighbor rented her property to a Section 8 person and had to evict her asap because she was wrecking the place. She gave me a few highlights of her case (she’s being accused of fraudulently getting utility payment) and she was shocked that she was being accused of all this stuff that she didn’t do. And who was accusing her? The tenant and SCAP! She’s going to have future court issues with Section 8 that she’ll need to take time off from work to clear herself, so be sure you want to go through that before you accept it.

Updates to follow:

SCAP’s website showing Community Services. Trust me, they will work to resolve Landlord/Tenant issues FOR THE TENANT. As I said, they are NOT your friend, they are NOT impartial.

And SCAP’s Flier…

You must follow all the same rules for a regular eviction with the following exception.

You MUST Notify Section 8 prior to going to court.

It has been reported that Judge Guido Loyola is very much on the tenants side in court. If you haven’t notified Section 8 that you are going to evict the tenant, its highly likely that Judge Loyola will DISMISS your case and you will have to start over from scratch.

You can notify Section 8 by letter, submit a copy of your petition and notice of petition.  You can also notify Section 8 by fax. As long as its done prior to your actual court date and time, then you have notified them.

People from SCAP will call Section 8 to find out if you’ve notified them. Make sure you do.

And follow all the regular procedures for starting an eviction through non-payment of rent, or ending term of lease and holdover.

The tenants did not pay the rent for June. He had gone down to the property managers office, told him that he’d been arrested, showed him the scratches on his chest and said that She would be paying the rent. That was on or about May 30th. The property manager reminded Him that there was a lease in effect.

We went to mow the lawn on May 31st. She came running down to tell him that she couldn’t pay the rent, she didn’t feel safe in the apartment and wanted the locks changed. (We couldn’t change the locks as He was a named Tenant on the Lease.) She also said she’d be moving out by the end of the month and that we had the “last month’s rent” and the security deposit to cover the costs. The property manager reminder Her that there was a lease in effect.

On the fifth day of the month we had a 3 Day Notice to pay the rent served upon her. He wasn’t living there at the time but we were able to serve Her His papers as She was a person of appropriate age to take the papers. I had also found his arrest report on the Schenectady Police Department’s Twitter site.

On the 12th day of the month we filed in Schenectady City Court an action for Non-Payment of Rent and Eviction. The court date was July 2nd.

On July 2nd THEY BOTH appeared, apparently now a very loving couple with no signs that they ever could have had any domestic incidents. The Judge called us to the bench and asked me what this was about. I told him that it was an eviction hearing for non-payment of rent and I asked to make a motion to amend the petition to include the July rent which was now due.

THEY immediately started talking about how the apartment wasn’t fit for human life, ceilings falling down, mold in the walls, dirty carpet, etc.

His Honor had us try to work with mediation.

The Mediator sat us down and asked to see specific things. The Rental Inspection Certificate, which I showed her and she showed some surprise that I had it. She said that a lot of landlords don’t have it with them.

Then she asked if I would take a pro-rated rent for July because THEY said they’d be out by the end of the month. I said no, THEY have a signed lease which has a default clause in it. If THEY default, THEY are responsible for the RENT DUE for the ENTIRE TERM.

So she said I could ask for an IMMEDIATE Order for Eviction but we would need to go back to court for the MONEY part of the issue.

We went before the Judge again and he ordered the Eviction. We go back to court again on July 17th. I received the signed order and the signed form for the Eviction.

The next step was to take these two articles to the Sheriff’s Department. At this time the cost of the eviction – because the Sheriff’s department serves the eviction notice on the Tenants, then 72 hours later performs the actual eviction – is $113.00, exact cash, check or money order. They expect to serve the tenants in about a week, then perform the eviction three days later.

— updates to follow —

The Sheriff’s Department served them the eviction papers on Friday, July 10th. The 72 hours began at 8:00 AM that Friday, did NOT include the weekend and resumed on that next Monday. They were to be evicted on Wednesday, July 15th at 8:00 AM. If they were not out completely they would be escorted out and could make arrangements to pick up the rest of their belongings at a later date.

The Landlord in Schenectady County is responsible for holding onto an evicted tenants’ belongings for six months. The tenant must make arrangements with you to retrieve at your convenience and they must take all of it at the time. None of this “I’ll take a little now and a little later nonsense.”

On Wednesday the Sheriff arrived and was let in by the property manager. It looked like the tenant had taken almost everything, a few pieces of furniture and a mattress was left behind. Also the fridge was full (and messy), and the oven/stove was filthy. Outside of that the flat was in very good shape.

I had the locksmith come over and he changed the locks to the flat, and the lock on the common door in the back of the house. The tenant arrived during that time to retrieve the mattress and a couple of other things, and I told her that she would need to call the property manager to make arrangements to get the rest of her stuff.  She left the flat, I locked up and put the “For Rent” sign back out on the front lawn in addition to posting the “Notice of Eviction” on the front and back doors to the flat.

Because they were on a Lease, we go back to Court this Friday, July 17th. This is for the “money” part of the proceedings. I don’t think it will be finished as I don’t have the flat re-Leased yet. I’ve got to clean it up, clean the carpets and do whatever else I need to in order to Show it. Putting the sign up was the first step.

— updates to follow —

Unfortunately our Judge maintains little to no control over his courtroom. But with that in mind I got together all the evidence to submit and a list of questions to ask my one and only witness, the property manager.

On Friday July 17th, the very first thing I did was to amend the amount due to include the rent for the remainder of the Lease term. I didn’t include “the last month’s rent” but applied it to what was owed.

However, I did include the cost to re-key an illegal lock that the former tenant had installed, the sheriff’s fee, the court costs and all the other expenses that were included.

I took the witness stand and presented this evidence. The judge asked me questions about it and then asked the former tenants if they had any questions for me on what I had entered into evidence. This is where I believe His Honor has no control.

They asked and told me of things that were not true, made comments without asking questions, asked questions about things that had nothing to do with what I had submitted. I objected to pretty much everything they asked and said and finally the court clerk made them be quiet.

Then I called my witness and entered the rest into evidence. Their rental applications, the rental certificate inspection sheet, the lease, his arrest report. The Judge also asked his questions and then the former tenants did.

The tenants were under the impression that they didn’t have to pay the rent if they told the court that they lived in a dump, unfit for habitation. The problem was that I had a rental certificate inspection done prior to their taking possession and if any damages were done, they were responsible. It would be laughable were it not so pathetic.

Then the male tenant took the stand and presented photographs he had taken to prove his case. The problem was that there weren’t any distinguishing features in them. They could’ve been taken anywhere. The funniest one was of the closeup of the dead ants on the tablecloth. An Andy Warhol protegue at his worst.

Finally the trial was over. One piece of evidence that I’d submitted was the police department’s arrest summary page showing his mugshot. Both sides are entitled to examine the evidence and I noticed he had it in his hands when he started to leave. I quickly grabbed it and gaver it to the court clerk. We won’t know for about two months, that’s just how its done here. But I do expect to be granted a judgement. A lease is a lease is a lease.

— updates to follow —

On August 28, 2009 I received this Strange Judgement.

— updates to follow —

 Sometimes a tenant will have special circumstances where they can get a court order from Family Court to terminate their Lease.

Here are two (2) forms that you may be presented with, in the case of Orders of Protection.



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