The first step in the Summary Process (Eviction) procedure is the Notice to Quit Possession. The form you must use for the Notice to Quit, which the court will provide upon request, must be completed with the exact name and address, including the apartment number, floor number or other designation, if any, of each adult tenant you want to evict and must be signed by you as the plaintiff/landlord. There must be an original Notice to Quit Possession and sufficient additional copies for each tenant who lives there. You should also keep 1 (one) copy for your own records.
You must state a reason on the Notice to Quit. The most frequently used reasons for evictions are non-payment of rent and termination of lease by lapse of time. Evictions for other reasons may be more complex.
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.
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.
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).
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.
A Resolution Part is a courtroom where the landlord and tenant can discuss their differences before a Judge or Court Attorney to see if an agreement can be reached to settle the dispute. You may also be there for a motion or an order to show cause.
A Resolution Part is presided over by a Judge, who is assisted by two court attorneys, a clerk, and a court officer. The court officer, wearing the uniform, stands in the courtroom to maintain order. The clerk, sitting at a desk at the front of the courtroom, can answer any questions you may have about the calendar or the Judge’s rules. The court attorneys, who are lawyers, assist the Judge. In addition, volunteer court representatives are present to assist. The Judge sits on the bench at the front of the Courtroom and hears motions and cases and reviews stipulations and orders to show cause.
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.
Evictionsmust 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.
Landlord/Tenant laws are designed to protect both parties in residency agreements for both commercial and residential properties. They can be quite complex. These laws vary greatly from state to state but, as a general rule, each will have a section outlining the rights, restrictions, and expectations of the tenant and another similar section devoted to the landlord.
Some of the across-the-board regulations include:
•Landlords must give tenants notice before entering a rental premises (generally one to two days)
•Tenants must uphold certain maintenance obligations
•Tenants are responsible for the behaviors of any and all guests they invite to the property
•The agreement can’t be changed without the permission of both parties involved (or failing that the due diligence of one party to meet specified guidelines for amending the agreement)
•Landlords and tenants can terminate a rental agreement for a variety of reasons but termination must be preceded by verbal or written notice of intent
While these laws were put on the books with the intent of giving both parties a level playing field, landlords generally have access to a larger amount of resources (financial or otherwise) which may aide them in the event of a dispute. Continue reading
Whether you are the party seeking damages or the party presumed to owe money, you must know:
The ins and outs of your lease agreement
The laws in your state
Does your lease state that you, the tenant, must give notice in writing 30 days before moving out, and you never gave it? Does your lease state that you, the landlord, must do requested repairs in a timely fashion but you never did? Honestly evaluate whether you have violated the terms of the contract. Continue reading