‘Eviction Fiction’ in Inwood

Juan Minaya of Inwood. (Photo by Gregg McQueen via Manhattan Times)

Some residents of buildings in Inwood have been receiving eviction notices for spurious reasons and are getting free legal help in fighting the notices, reports Gregg McQueen in Manhattan Times.

Manhattan Legal Services attorneys said they have witnessed a spike in recent months of Inwood landlords initiating non-primary resident holdover cases against tenants, claiming they don’t actually reside in their apartments.

They insisted that many of the cases are completely without merit, as the targets are long-term residents who can prove that they live full-time in their apartments.

Manhattan Legal Services Staff Attorney John Briggs explained that most of the eviction attempts are coming from landlords Barberry Rose Management and Shaul Koplowitz, who collectively own two dozen buildings in Inwood.

Briggs said the landlords have become “really aggressive” in attempt to evict Inwood tenants from rent-stabilized apartments, reporting that Manhattan Legal Services has taken on more than 20 cases in the past six months where the landlords have alleged that tenants are not living in their units.

For instance, Jacinta Duran, who lives on Sherman Avenue, received a 90-day eviction notice from her landlord’s attorney asserting that she was living in the Dominican Republic and that someone else was living in her apartment.

“I was shocked,” Duran stated. “It wasn’t true. I only live here.”

“They said I owned a car in the DR,” she said. “That’s crazy, because I don’t drive. I don’t even have a license.”

Go to Manhattan Times to read how Inwood tenant Juan Minaya was mistaken for another Juan Minaya living out of state, and to learn what the lawyer for one of the landlords has to say about the notices.

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