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.