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Eviction after Death or Nursing Home
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Eviction after Death or Nursing Home

When an elderly person is in a subsidized elderly "project", and either dies or ends up in a nursing home the "landlord" often sends a notice ordering the apartment to be surrendered wit the end of the month. The notice is official, generally coming from the office of an atorney. In the case of a death this means the apartment must be cleaned out within a space of perhaps two weeks. In many cases this is an impossible burden for relatives, who may also be frail and elderly.  In the situation with a nursing home, it may mean if the person is released from the home they will have no apartment. The fact of the matter these letters are bogus, designed to frighten and intimidate, and in point-of-fact the landlord has to utilize "due process" to evict. (To forestall eviction someone has to continually occupy the apartment). "Due Process" means a court hearing at housing court.  You won't need an attorney if you are only "buying time". At every court hearing at the first appearance you are entitled to what is called an "all-purpose adjournment". If you request this there will be another court date scheduled. You don't have to give a reason for an "all purpose adjourment".  You cannot be forced to vacate the apartment unti the judge issues an order, and then you mwill have additional time.  In case of death this gives you fron one to three additional months to clear out the home. In the case of a nursing home situation, the matter becomes more complex. In the case of one elderly woman I am involved with she was placed in a rehab nursing home and ended up with a guardianship, for complicated reasons. She is an artist and her apartment is filled with art she created. We went to court to forestall eviction and after two years, she still has not been evicted (we are still in court), although she has been in a nursing home, hoping to be eventually released.
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In general, in U.S. federally subsidized housing for the elderly, about a week after the person's death a so-called "ten day notice" will be mailed, from an atrorney, generally to "John Doe" or "Jane Doe" at that address terminating residency. Meanwhile you are organizing a funeral and mourning. No time for the apartment.  The document demands surrender of the apartment after the tenth day. They will probably tape it to the door. Clearly this does not allow for a proper inventory of contents or an orderly removal of the deceased property. If you go to the managing agent they will tell you that the unit has been renting at 25% of it's market value, and since you are not covered by the law, you may stay an additonal 30 days if you pay them four times the rent (the market value - in advance). Otherwise they will tell you to be out.  Get out the violin because they will tell you about a 92 year old lady who is on the waiting list you are depriving of the right to live in a senior apartment. Yes them to death and be polite. Tell them you have to speak to your brother-in-law, who is an attorney. Then ignore them. In the small print in the eviction notice it will state "if you do not vacate legal steps will be taken to evict you". That's "due process". It means you will have a court date set for from ten days to two weeks after that date. Two days before the court date go to housing court and request an "all-purpose adjournment". That will buy you another two to three weeks. If after that time the apartment is still not cleared, show up with a medical note for a second adjournment. That gives you two more weeks. It is important that someone live in the apartment during this period. If someone shows up with a key tell them you have legal possession until a judge says otherwise and if they enter or remove anything you will call the police and have them arrested. Now you will have to get out, but this will give you a minimum of an additional month (or more) to secure the posessions of your loved one.
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