Deadbeat tenant finds way to live rent-free

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Question: I have a friend who owns a rental unit and the tenant refuses to pay the rent. This has gone on for several months. The tenant is a menace and offered to move if my friend gave him $7,000. My friend was desperate so he agreed, but the tenant changed his mind -- this deadbeat would rather live rent-free. My friend has consulted lawyers but has been told tenants' rights (especially in some rent-control areas) are so strong that there is nothing he can do. Any advice? Landlords' attorney McKinley replies: Your friend has been given bad advice. A landlord should never agree to pay a tenant to vacate the property. This agreement could have been binding on your friend, which would have required him to pay the tenant to vacate; in addition, your friend would have waived any claim for rent. However, since the tenant changed his mind, and apparently nothing was put in writing, it appears that no agreement was reached. Your friend should immediately serve a legal notice for all rent cu...