Eviction

New York Eviction Laws On Holdover Cases

Holdover Summary Proceeding – generally used to refer to any summary proceeding brought to evict on some basis other than for non-payment. 

Expiration or Termination of Lease – RPAPL §711(1) provides the fundamental authority for a holdover proceeding, and authorizes the maintenance of a summary eviction proceeding against a tenant who “continues in possession … after the expiration of his term without the permission of the landlord”. This applies to the tenant whose lease has expired by operation of law or because the lease has been terminated by operation of a conditional limitation in the lease. The terms of the lease control. The lease cannot be terminated for reasons other than those allowed under the lease (ie. No termination for “objectionable conduct” unless there is a provision in the lease authorizing such termination. See Perrotta, 98 AD2d 1, 469 NYS2d 504; Levesque, 106 Misc2d 432, 430 NYS2d 482). 

Rent / Use and Occupancy – Petitioner may seek rent for a period prior to the end of the tenancy and U&O for the period respondent “holds over”. The amount of U&O is set by the Court, but is generally set at the amount of the rent. 

New York Eviction Laws on Non Payment Cases

Three Day Notice – RPAPL 711(2) requires petitioner to make a demand for rent prior to commencement of the eviction proceeding. The demand can be oral or written. If written, it must provide respondent with 3 days to pay the rent. The 3 day Notice must be served on the respondent and filed with the Court. The 3-day notice must state the amount of rent due and the period of time covered by that amount, together with a demand that the total amount be paid within 3 business days after service of the notice or tenant must give up possession. The date of service is excluded, as are Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Petition must seek rent and not other charges – While petitioner can seek attorney’s fees (if agreed to in the lease) and Court costs, generally, respondent cannot be evicted for the failure to pay these costs, especially in a rent-regulated situation.

What Is the Tenant Blacklist?

Tenants named in Housing Court hold- over and nonpayment proceedings end up on what is called the “tenant black- list.” The New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) sells Housing Court data to tenant screening companies. These companies use this data to make reports about tenants. Landlords then use the reports to decide whether to rent to you. Most landlords will not rent to you if you have ever been in Housing Court. If your name appears in the Housing Court’s database, it can be difficult to find a new rental in New York City and other cities across the country.

How Tenant Blacklisting Works

The OCA sells data about eviction cases brought in the New York City Housing Court to “tenant screening bureaus” (TSBs).

Three Ways A Landlord Can Serve Eviction Papers

  • Personal Delivery: One copy of the notice of petition and petition may be given to you personally. If they are given to you personally, no other copies have to be served on you.
  • Substituted Service: This kind of service takes two separate steps and must result in your being served with three copies of the notice of petition and petition. One copy must be given to a person of “suitable age and discretion” who lives or works at your home, not just someone who happens to be there (This person does not have to be an adult, but it should not be a small child). By the next day, excluding weekends and certain holidays, the two other copies must be mailed to you, one copy by regular and one copy by registered or certified mail. Certified mail does not require a return receipt, but you will probably have to sign for it.

Eviction Tips For Landlords For Holdover Cases

A holdover case is brought to evict a tenant or a person in the apartment who is not a tenant for reasons other than simple nonpayment of rent. A holdover case is much more complicated than a nonpayment case. A holdover proceeding can have many variations. For example, if the tenant has violated a lease provision, illegally put others in the apartment, has become a nuisance to other tenants, or is staying after a lease has expired, the landlord may bring a holdover case. A roommate who is named on the lease can also bring a holdover proceeding to evict a roommate who is not named on the lease from the apartment.

There may or may not be a landlord/tenant relationship, and the petitioner may or may not need to show a good reason why a respondent’s occupancy should be terminated. The rights of the parties may be determined by a lease or other agreement, housing laws and regulations and/or the New York State or United States Constitution. A predicate notice may or may not have to be served.

Eviction Tips For Landlords For Non-Payment Cases

The Demand for Rent

Before the case can be started, the landlord or someone working for the landlord, must demand the overdue rent from the tenant and warn the tenant that if the rent is not paid, the tenant can be evicted. The landlord may tell the tenant this in person or in writing. If the tenant is told in person, the “demand” must be specific and include the months and amount due. For example, the landlord might say, “You owe the rent for June, July and August at $900.00 per month, for a total of $2700.00. Are you going to pay?”

However, If the lease requires that this kind of demand be given in writing, then it must be in writing. If it is in writing, the rent demand must be delivered to the tenant at least three days before the day the court papers are served, unless the lease requires more days.

If you are a landlord with a one or two family house, or a building with fewer than five apartments, or own a coop or condo, the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has a free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) computer program to help you make a written Rent Demand. Or you can buy a Rent Demand form at a legal stationary store, like Blumberg.

The Eviction Process

Evictions must follow a strict legal process. If a tenant isn’t paying rent or has repeatedly broken rules laid out in the code of conduct, the landlord has the right to begin the official eviction process. He can’t take the law into his own hands, though. It’s illegal in nearly all 50 United States for the landlord to lock out a tenant. The definition of a lockout includes changing locks, blocking entry into the rental unit, cutting off electricity or water, or any other method that prevents the tenant from normal use of the property.  The good news for landlords in the United States is that the eviction process is one of the shortest legal proceedings on the books. In New York, for example, it’s possible to legally evict a tenant in as few as 30 – 60 days.