When the plaintiff starts a foreclosure case against the owner of your home, the law says that the plaintiff must tell the tenants within 10 days. You may find out about the case by seeing a notice posted on the door to your building or the plaintiff may give you a copy of the foreclosure Summons and Complaint. Do not worry if your name is on the papers. This does not mean that you have to move out. Many things can happen:
The owner may settle the case and keep the property
The bank may not be able to prove its case
The case may take a very long time, often even a year, and you may move before it is over
The court system can be confusing and it is a good idea to get a lawyer if you can. The law, the proofs necessary to present your case, and the procedural rules governing cases in the Law Division, Civil Part are complex. Since valuable claims or potentially heavy judgments may be at stake, most litigants appearing in the Law Division, Civil Part have a lawyer. If you are being sued, please contact your insurance company to see if they might provide a lawyer for you. Most likely your opponent will be represented by a lawyer. It is recommended that you make every effort to obtain the assistance of a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may contact the legal services program in your county to see if you qualify for free legal services. The telephone number can be found online or in your local yellow pages under “Legal Aid” or “Legal Services.”
A lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant, containing the terms and conditions of the rental. It cannot be changed while it is in effect unless both parties agree. Leases for apartments which are not rent stabilized may be oral or written. To avoid disputes, the parties
may wish to enter into a written agreement. A party must sign the lease in order to be bound by its terms. An oral lease for more than one year cannot be legally enforced (General Obligations Law § 5-701).
The Mitchell-Lama housing program provides rental and cooperative housing for middle-income tenants. For both state and city-sponsored Mitchell-Lama developments, tenants must meet eligibility requirements including income, family size and apartment size. Additionally, each development sets its own restrictions.
Public Housing is a federally funded program in which state chartered authorities develop and manage public housing developments, subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Tenants in public housing are entitled to an administrative grievance process administered by the local housing authority before they may be evicted.
Rent control limits the rent an owner may charge for an apartment and restricts the right of the owner to evict tenants. The rent control program applies to residential buildings constructed before February, 1947 in municipalities that have not declared an end to the postwar rental housing emergency. Rent control is still in effect in New York City and parts of Albany, Erie, Nassau, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Westchester counties.
If your tenant still has not moved after the last day given in the Notice to Quit, you must return to the clerk’s office with the original Notice to Quit, the Process Servers Return of Service, and a completed Summons and Complaint.
You will need to make 1 (one) original and a copy for each of the tenants/defendants. In addition, you should keep 1 (one) copy of everything for your records. Be sure to indicate in numbers 1 (one) and 3 (three) of either Complaint whether it is an oral or written week-to-week, month-to-month or year’s lease.
A tenant with a lease is protected from eviction during the lease period so long as the tenant does not violate any substantial provision of the lease or any local housing laws or codes. For both regulated and unreg- ulated apartments, landlords must give formal notice of their intention to obtain legal possession of the apartment.
Unless the tenant vacates the premises by a specified date, the landlord may commence eviction proceedings through: (a) a summary non-pay- ment court proceeding to evict a tenant who fails to pay the agreed rent when due and to recover outstanding rent; or (b) a summary holdover proceeding for eviction if a tenant significantly violates a substantial obligation under the lease (such as using the premises for illegal pur- poses, or committing or permitting a nuisance) or stays beyond the lease term without permission (Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL § 711).
Renters who do not have leases and pay rent on a monthly basis are called “month-to-month” tenants. In localities without rent regulation, tenants who stay past the end of a lease are treated as month-to-month tenants if the landlord accepts their rent (Real Property Law § 232-c).
A month-to-month tenancy outside New York City may be terminated by either party by giving at least one month’s notice before the expiration of the tenancy. For example, if the landlord wants the tenant to move out by November 1 and the rent is due on the first of each month, the landlord must give notice by September 30. In New York City, 30 days’ notice is required, rather than one month.
Landlords do not need to explain why the tenancy is being terminated, they only need to provide notice that it is, and that refusal to vacate will lead to eviction proceedings. Such notice does not automatically allow the landlord to evict the tenant. A landlord may raise the rent of a month-to-month tenant with the consent of the tenant. If the tenant does not consent, however, the landlord can terminate the tenancy by giving appropriate notice. (Real Property Law § 232-a and § 232-b).