Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

College Evicts Former Student Who Won't Leave Dorm Room

We often hear stories of landlords from hell, especially since the landlord is generally in the position of power in the landlord-tenant relationship. But, tenants can also be problematic, and sometimes evicting them can be difficult. Take for example, Lisa Palmer, who has been living in Hunter College's Manhattan dormitory since the spring semester of 2016. The problem? Palmer hasn't been a student for some while, yet refuses to leave her dorm room.

Living in a Dorm Without Being a Student

According to a lawsuit for eviction filed by Hunter College, Palmer failed to pay over $1,800 in residence fees thereby violating her occupancy agreement pretty much as soon as she moved in. Then, when the college denied her housing application, she dropped out of school and ignored the notice to vacate. According to the complaint, Palmer owes $94,000 in residence hall charges.

Adding to the strange behavior of living in a dorm room after dropping out of school, Palmer also apparently demanded a 2018 resident ID card so that she could access other portions of campus. The lawsuit for eviction seeks a judgment of $94,372 (plus interest) for the unpaid residence fees, and for police to "eject Palmer from Room E579."

When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant?

There are certain circumstances when a landlord can terminate a tenant's rights to a rental property. These circumstances include a tenant failing to pay rent on time or engaging in illegal activities in the rental property. While not a common circumstance, it's safe to say that living in a dorm -- especially when you don't pay residence fees -- is a valid reason to evict a tenant.

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