Long Island man claims he should be allowed to stay in his house – even though he hasn’t paid the mortgage in over 20 years – because he was infected with COVID-19.
Guramrit Hanspal, 52, has used the courts to prevent him from being booted out of his two story East Meadow home and has filed multiple lawsuits and bankruptcies for being left without a dime to stay since 1998.
Hanspal’s most recent attempt to stay is to claim he suffered financial hardship because he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to a case on Thursday in the Nassau district’s housing court.
The house on Kenmore Street, which was foreclosed years ago, is currently owned by a company called Diamond Ridge Partners that is trying to oust Hanspal.
It is unclear when Hanspal fell ill or what financial hardship he suffered as a result.
With the forms for the COVID-19 hardship declaration, tenants affected by the pandemic can claim financial problems without having to provide evidence and can usually postpone an eviction by months.
A Diamond Ridge attorney says pandemic protection does not apply to Hanspal, who failed to appear for a hearing before Judge William Hohauser.
Hanspal is protected by the recently passed pandemic protection laws, his lawyer William D. Friedman told Hohauser.
“It is clearly part of this law to protect people who said they had COVID and for the purposes of today’s argument he had COVID, he said he had COVID and they did nothing to refute it. And I just think they’re holding on to it, ”Friedman said.
But COVID protection measures should help tenants and other paying tenants, insisted Diamond Ridge’s attorney Jordan Katz, whose client simply wants Hanspal and other residents of the house to be evacuated.
“… a lease has never been made available,” Katz told Hanspal. “There is no obligation to pay rent in this matter. There is no rental or other rental agreement. None of the residents are tenants. “
The hearing took place a week after one of the residents of the house, Bhagwant Srichawala, 32, died in an accident on the Long Island Expressway.
His attorney, David Gevanter, argued that Srichawala’s estate should take the dead man’s place in the clearance battle, noting that Srichawala had also filed a hardship statement.
But that legal argument doesn’t make sense, Katz replied, noting that tenancy law ends when a person dies.
In this case, Hohauser reserves the right to make a decision. The next court date has not been set.