A Developer/Landlord Nightmare: The Holdout

Check this out courtesy of Boing Boing.

The ultimate holdout.  This guy in China won’t sell to the developers for less than £1.3 million so they dug a huge moat of sorts around his house.  Can you say determination…on both sides?  Now how in Sam Hill does he get in and out of that house? 

This brings up the subject of how aggressive can a landlord or developer be in vacating a property for demolition.   If a landlord wants to demolish a building, tenants must vacate the property.  A group called Housing Conservation Coordinators, Inc points out that some landlords may actually file for demolition and not carry it out:

Phony Demolition
By law, tenants are not required to move out of their apartments if a landlord wishes to renovate their building. If, however, a landlord decides to demolish and construct a new building, tenants must vacate their apartments. In order to demolish, a landlord must file a claim with the Department of Buildings. In the case of a phony demolition, a landlord files for permission to demolish, and forces the tenants to leave, but, in fact, just renovates the building. HCC is working with local elected officials and housing groups from around the city go ensure that landlords cannot force tenants out of their apartments by pretending to plan a building demolition.

I don’t think the aforementioned Chinese development group is planning a phony demolition.

And for those who aren’t facing a demoliton but are being harassed, HCC says this:

Tenant harassment is a frequent occurrence, not just in Hell’s Kitchen, but all over the city. Frivolous lawsuits, intimidation, and refusal of services are just some of the forms of harassment many tenants face. As it stands, harassment is not grounds for a lawsuit filed by a tenant. HCC organizers are working with the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development and other community organizations to strengthen tenants’ rights on this issue. The proposed legislation seeks to make harassment a cause of action under which a landlord can be sued.

This is stunning to me that a tenant can’t sue for harassment.  I’m not buying it!  Any attorneys out there to support or refute this claim?

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