New York Landlord Arrested For Assault
Since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the string of job losses and financial problems, there has been a large increase in landlord-tenant disputes.
Many disputes stem from people falling behind on their rental payments and the government's efforts to keep a housing crisis from occurring due to an onslaught of evictions and foreclosures. Others are just plain old disputes that happen during the normal course of business.
That, however, is not what seemed to be happening in a landlord-tenant dispute that has been ongoing in the Central New York town of Bath, located in Steuben County.
According to a report by WENY News, landlord Scott Wilkins had been embroiled in a dispute with his tenant over utility services at an apartment used owned by Wilkins.
Court records show that Wilkins had been withholding access to utilities in the apartment and the court ordered him to maintain the services for the tenant. It appears that the court order was violated and the utilities were not provided as ordered, which subsequently resulted in Deputies from the Steuben County Sheriff's Office having to investigate.
When the deputies arrived, it was alleged that they were assaulted by Wilkins when he was told to restore the utilities.
Wilkins was subsequently arrested and charged with obstruction, felony assault, resisting arrest, criminal contempt of a court order, and a number of other crimes.
Evictions In New York
Where there is a landlord-tenant dispute in New York State, those disputes need to be resolved by the courts. It's not legal for landlords to take matters into their own hands. Sometimes a landlord will attempt to force a tenant to leave an apartment by doing what has been termed a self-help eviction.
These sorts of evictions are illegal in New York State and are considered a class A misdemeanor criminal offense in the state. If a landlord does things like locking a tenant out, removing the door from a tenant's apartment, shutting off the utilities, taking the tenant's property, and other things are against the law and a tenant should call the police.