Camey King, a single mother who lives with her teenage daughter and her elderly mother, is facing a no-cause eviction on May 15.
King, who works as a nanny, had been living in her unregulated East New York building for 15 years when King’s original landlord lost the building in foreclosure. She was never informed about the sale and continued to pay rent but was served an eviction notice in March 2022.
Public records indicate the new owner of the building is SKZF 737 Mazel LLC.
According to the Legal Aid Society, which is taking her case, there is currently no legal recourse for evicting King. Her lawyers hope to get her an extension until she can find a new place to live.
King's story is like many others. According to the Legal Aid Society, evictions in New York City have increased almost every month since the statewide eviction moratorium lapsed last year.
“Model tenants throughout New York City are facing exorbitant rent increases and warrantless evictions simply because the existing statute does not provide New Yorkers with basic protections to defend against these practices,” said Leigh Mangum, staff attorney in the Brooklyn Housing Unit at The Legal Aid Society.
The society points to a recent report from Douglas Eillman, which shows rent in New York City has continued to skyrocket in the post-COVID housing market. According to the report, the median rental price in Brooklyn last month jumped 16.4% to $3,493 compared to $3,000 last year. The median rental price in Manhattan for this past March rose to $4,175, a 12.8% increase from $3,700 compared to March 2022, the highest on record.
In an effort to provide some relief, the Legal Aid Society is calling on lawmakers to enact good cause legislation.
“In the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis and with a possible recession months away, we need policies that work to keep our neighbors housed, and that’s why Albany must include ‘Good Cause’ in the final budget,” Mangum said.
Good cause legislation would ensure tenants in unregulated units have basic protections against unwarranted evictions and exorbitant rent increases. Legal Aid Housing Court attorneys currently represent New Yorkers in hundreds of no-cause holdovers across the five boroughs. Many of these cases and evictions would be avoided if the good cause legislation was to pass into law.
“Ms. King’s story is tragic, but it isn’t an outlier,” Mangum said.