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What can I get my landlord to do if my neighbors are dealing drugs?

Asked by user in New York.

I have lived at my residence for 23 years. There are tenants on the other side of my wall who have been dealing and doing illicit drugs. Every time there's been an incident, my landlord has turned a blind eye. Now he is trying to evict me.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

In New York, landlords are required to take minimal steps to protect against reasonably foreseeable harm. It sounds like your landlord was told about the criminal acts and failed to take minimal steps to protect you.

I would recommend sending your landlord a letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested describing the criminal acts that have taken place, the ongoing threat, and asking the landlord to take the minimal step of evicting the problematic tenant. You might also tell your landlord about New York’s program that allows the district attorney to aid landlords in evicting tenants who are selling drugs on the premises. You can learn more about the program here.

If the issue can’t be resolved, you can sue your landlord to evict the problematic tenant (and to represent your rights from being unlawfully evicted). I would recommend reaching out to a landlord-tenant attorney using our free online directory. If you think you might qualify for free legal help, you can contact the legal aid organization in your area.

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