A woman with property she manages in Ogdensburg, New York found out the hard way that when it comes to squatters, a landlord’s rights are quite limited.
“They of course left behind over 40 bags of trash, five 5-gallon buckets of human feces and urine, an unplugged fridge full of uncleaned fish and just pure filth,” said Lisa Gallagher. “My reason for speaking tonight is to let landlords know that when it comes to your property, you are very limited on your rights to secure that property. If you do not know how the system works and you are a landlord, please learn from my experience.”
Ms. Gallagher read a letter to the council, spelling out details of her plight involving an apartment — and two tenants she did not know — who had secretly moved into her place at 708 Washington St…..The day after the tenant’s 30 days was up, we went to secure the apartment and we were greeted by a male and female that were not tenants on the lease, and were told ‘we have no place to go and there is nothing you can do about it,’ and then slammed the door in our face,” Ms. Gallagher said.
She said she then contacted United Helpers because the original tenant was one of the agency’s clients, but was told nothing could be done to help since the original tenant had moved out as required.
As is too often the case, the City Leaders simply listen and aren’t interested in doing anything to try to afford property owners better protection in circumstances like these. While it may be true that city laws themselves can’t address this issue because the legal issues are state issues, it is still true that cities could lobby states to better protect property owners.