Your situation is quite common and one that I have faced many times in the past as a former Real Estate Appraiser. If your area is not zoned for a basement apt and I believe it may not be. you will definitely run into major woes such as;
a. IRS - Failure to report rental income from this (illegal?)unit. Tax Evasion
b. You may also be ordered to reimburse the renter for all the rent money you have collected if this unit is deemed to be an illegal one.
I suggest you retain the services of an experienced Real Estate attorney that has handled this in the past. In either case, this is going to be a protracted process.
Good Luck to you.
Licensed Commercial & Residential Sales Agent
Metropolitan Residential Partners, LLC
139 E 61st, Suite 2W
New York, NY 10065
Proud Members of REBNY
Quite often when a homeowner rents out a basement, it is not a legal apartment. In addition to that, if you are renting out an apartment and not reporting the rental income as income to the IRS when you do your taxes, that can be considered tax evasion. If either of these things is the case with you, it can make getting rid of the tenant more problematic and/or stressful.
The bottom line is that you need to contact to good landlord tenant attorney to help you asap. Good luck!
Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783