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for The New York Times: A Landlord Says Her Tenants Are Terrorizing Her. She Can't Evict Them.
josé a. alvarado jr.
Jul 12, 2021
Location: Queens
For more than a year, Vanie Mangal, a physician assistant at a Connecticut hospital, called relatives to tell them that their loved ones were dying of Covid-19, watched as patients gasped their final breaths and feared that she herself would get sick.

Ms. Mangal found no respite from stress when she went home. She is a landlord who rents the basement and first-floor apartments at her home in Queens, and for the past year, conflicts with her tenants have poisoned the atmosphere in her house.

The first-floor tenants have not paid rent in 15 months, bang on the ceiling below her bed at all hours for no apparent reason and yell, curse and spit at her, Ms. Mangal said. A tenant in the basement apartment also stopped paying rent, keyed Ms. Mangal’s car and dumped packages meant for her by the garbage. After Ms. Mangal got an order of protection and then a warrant for the tenant’s arrest, the woman and her daughter moved out.

All told, Ms. Mangal — who has captured many of her tenants’ actions on surveillance video — has not only lost sleep from the tensions inside her two-story home but also $36,600 in rental income. “It’s been really horrendous,” she said. “What am I supposed to do — live like this?”

Photographed for The New York Times with words by Matthew Haag.
A Landlord Says Her Tenants Are Terrorizing Her. She Can’t Evict Them.
A landlord in Queens says her tenants curse and spit at her and owe more than $23,000 in rent. But an eviction moratorium keeps them from being kicked out.


José A. Alvarado Jr. is a visual storyteller devoted to documenting cultural and social issues, as well as human interest stories in the US and Puerto Rico.
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