Queens Landlord Upset With Court System After Tenant Gets Away Without Paying Rent

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A landlord in the Ozone Park section of Queens says that the court system is completely unfair to landlords, and he cites one specific example to prove his case.

Since July, Rene Mediavillo has been trying to evict the woman who is currently occupying his two bedroom walk-up on Liberty Avenue.

Mediavillo is so fed up, in fact, that he has a new name for the “squatter” that lives in his building: “The professional tenant from hell.”

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

According to Mediavillo, four trips to housing court has resulted in four adjournments, and the woman still hasn’t moved.

“She’s still living there, she doesn’t pay rent and she doesn’t offer to pay rent at all,” Mediavillo said.

The dire situation began when the landlord’s prior tenant moved out in June, and this woman just showed up.

“I said, ‘You don’t have a lease, you don’t have a right to be here and I’m going to call the police,'” Mediavillo said.  “And she laughed at me. She said, ‘Go ahead.'”

A spokesman for the civil court responded to the landlord’s claims that the system is unfair, saying, “Before a judge throws someone out into the street there has to be sufficient proof, and there can be a protracted period of fact-finding.”

A judge has finally ordered the woman to move by March 31 after eight months of living rent free.

When it’s all said and done, Mediavillo believes that his troubled tenant will end up costing him $8,000, plus attorney’s fees.

How would you handle a tenant that doesn’t pay rent? Sound off with your comments below…

  • Bankrupt by Tenant & Judges

    The judges of NYC who are making those decisions should give the” professional tenant from hell ” an apartment in his/her house to live .Is the judge paying for those people to live in other people house/apartment.Judges and tenants in NYC are preying on landlords.They are parasites and vampires.

  • Robert

    Hey, Mr. Landlord…thanks for the great idea! I’ll be moving in when she finally leaves…see ya in court!

  • NYNeena

    I lost my job and my unemployment has been reduced where I cannot stay in my 1 bedroom apartment. I will only be collecting 400 a month and cannot even rent a room at this point. I am going to be fair and honest and let the landlord know at the end of the month so he will have a full month to find someone else like the lease states I am supposed to do, and signed in agreement. I would never live rent free or take advantage of another person even though know the law would allow me to live rent free for 6 months. I don’t know what to do but I hope all will be okay in the end.

  • jennifer walker

    While I agree that there are freeloaders willing to game the system, there are tons of innocent tenants who get evicted unfairly all the time.

    The NY assembly needs to pass S8082-2009 to help keep these innocent tenants in their homes.

    Please help innocent tenants stay in their apartments, sign and share the petition. Thanks for your help.

  • JP

    Well, I understand your problem BUT as a landlord I am willing to work with tenant with less complaint and do their minors repairs. Also, depends on how much rent you pay per month. If you only pay couple of hundreds dollars versus the landlord have to spend thousands to do the repair, so where is the fairness. Got to remember the landlord have to pay taxes and interest for the apartment you are staying. I known tenant pay only $400.00 per month for a two bedroom apt. and asking the landlord to redo the kitchen… so where is the logic. Sometimes, landlord lose money on buildings that can only collect low rent and cost more just to maintain it, as specially in NYC.

  • Bronxlandlord

    My tenant hasn’t paid rent in 10 months, after numerous screw ups by the courts the judge finally signed the warrant on Jan 27th. My tenant went to court and got an order to show cause, it was for March 1st and she never showed up for the court date so now I have to serve her again and wait to see if she will get a court date again. In the meantime, I am paying her gas, electric and so far I am out $15,000. I am always hearing stories by the media telling the tenants side, so glad someone is looking out for the landlord. Imagine me not paying my mortgage for 10 months……..

    • texxxx



      If you waved $2000 in cash in front of her face….she would have been long gone by now and think of all the money you would have saved!!!

      • Bronxlandlord

        I live in a legal 2 family in City Island, I pay her utilities because the previous owners used the entire house and only has one meter. I am so close to the water that I don’t even have a basement. Oh she said she will move, she even allowed me to show the apt and rent it out to a couple who was 7 months pregnant with their first child, you want to know when she said she is not moving….after they turn in the keys to their apt and was waiting outside of my house with their loaded truck. Tell you what if I had taken your advise I would be out $15 plus $2 thousand because she would take my money and still not move, but all is not lost I have her SS# and when this is over I will spend those $2,000.00 to make sure it’s on her credit. So tell me how many times did your landlords have to pay you to move?

  • Rich

    The first thing the judge is suppose to do in these cases, is order the rent to be paid to an escrow account. Yes, there are land lords and tenants from hell, lets not paint all with same brush.

    • FedUp

      Wish that were true. Spending a year and a half in NYC housing courts didnt exactly go down like that. All the tenant had to say was, I have kids and no where to go and Im not working. Month after month it was the same thing and time was always granted. Even though she was ordered to pay she never did. Sob stories worked on her part. After court she’d come back into my home having parties with the money she claimed she didnt have. We had evidence, reports, pictures, etc and it meant nothing.

  • roseia mcbride

    Ther is another side to that horror story. I live in a building where the landlor does make repairs in your apartment if you have been there a long time, My landlord only make repairs in my apartment if I withhold the rent. He takes me to court, I state my case and the judge orders the repairs. He fixes part of them and the cycle begins all over again, I have to pay my rent if the courts says so, but the landlord lord does not have to pay me forthe months ofnon service and time I take off from my job!!!! Where is the fairness in that????

    • Rich

      Your landlord is the very same landlord who is mentioned in this very article?

  • fred

    This happens more often than you would think. Professional squatters … their mothers would be so proud.

  • roseia mcbride

    A lot of landlords are truly slum lords! My landlord does not do repairs unless I withhold the rent. He fixes, I Pay!!! Now tell me if that’s fair to me?? He gets all of his rent, when I have gotten partial service! I don’t get to deduct anything from the rent for the months he made no repairs, GET IT!!!!!

    • Julie

      Why don’t you buy your own place then or move somewhere else where the landlord makes repairs? You have to be careful with landlord tenant disputes because people often end up getting hurt unnecessarily. I once had a terrible landlord moved out upon deciding it was not worth my life. I may have been right but it would not have done me much good in the grave.

  • DC

    I would place a suit against the City for the loss of income and attorneys fees. There is no reason a person should be able to stay in your home without paying rent. THIS IS STUPID.

  • Jerry

    At least he gets to deduct it all?

    I only use credit checks which the tenant pays for. It has worked wonderfully for me for years.

  • Nick

    Stupid. Just chain her up and wh ore her out. Make more money that way. If she’s been hit with an ugly stick once too often, chop her up and sell the meat to the local chinese take out.

  • FedUp

    This has been happening more and more in NYC. I myself have been there and done that as a frustrated landlord. The city and courts truly do not help landlords. After almost $20,000 lost and tenant refusing to pay rent for 2 years, vandalizing the home and a pending criminal case (tenant attacked my mother) the courts still didnt care. She waltzed in and out without a worry while we worried about losing our home all the while being stiffed out of rent and repair costs. WHERES THE JUSTICE?! I totally agree with the term “professional tenant from hell”. Truth is they all share the info and get over on landlords. They almost encourage each other to do it. A DARN SHAME!

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