A Nassau County housing judge moved to evict a long island man that has not paid his mortgage in 23 years, citing that the man is not protected under pandemic housing protections because he is an illegal occupant.
Judge William Hohauser ruled on September 14 that Guramrit Hanspal, 52, is not protected under the pandemic housing protections because he is not a tenant, but rather a squatter. “The protections of the COVID declaration would inhere to tenants, but not to those who have no financial obligation,” ruled Hohauser. He added that those who live in foreclosed homes “could be considered occupants at ‘sufferance’ if not outright squatters.”
Judge Hohauser went on to explains that Hanspal’s lack of effort to pay for the home “augurs strongly against any protection.”
Hanspal bought his home with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms in 1998 for $290,000 dollars per the New York Post. The house is located at 2468 Kenmore Street in East Meadow, New York, and was built in 1998 according to Zillow. After making just a single payment of $1,602.37 dollars on his mortgage, Hanspal defaulted on his loan. Washington Mutual foreclosed on Hanspal’s home in 2000 but was unsuccessful in efforts to remove him the Post reported.
Since then, the home changed hands twice, yet Hanspal has continued to occupy the residence by filing a series of bankruptcy declarations and lawsuits. In total, Hanspal has filed for bankruptcy seven times and he has filed four lawsuits in efforts to retain the property.
Diamond Ridge Partners currently owns the property and has been trying to evict Hanspal since before the coronavirus pandemic and the eviction moratorium that came with it. Hanspal and another resident of the home, Bhagwant Srichawla, filed a COVID-19 Hardship declaration back in April in order to remain in the home. Srichawla died in a car accident this past July.
Hanspal and the late Srichawla’s lawyers argued that Diamond Ridge Partners should not gain special attention over countless other small unit landlords that await their day in court. Judge Hohauser explained, “Diamond Ridge and its predecessors have been waiting for more than two decades.”
The home is listed for sale on Zillow for $399,000 dollars.
Jordan Katz serves as the attorney for Diamond Ridge Partners and shared his thoughts on the ruling with the New York Post. Katz explained that his clients and he were “very satisfied” with Hohauser’s ruling. The attorney went on to say, “We intend on immediately enforcing the court’s order and ending this illegal occupancy.”
On August 26 the Supreme Court ruled to halt the nationwide eviction moratorium put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ruling explained, “Careful review of that record makes clear that the applicants are virtually certain to succeed on the merits of their argument that the CDC has exceeded its authority. It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened.”
The statement continued, “Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.”