New York, like many other states in the United States, has recently undergone significant changes to its eviction law. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the country, lawmakers in New York have taken steps to protect tenants from being evicted from their homes. This has resulted in a complex and evolving set of laws and regulations that can be difficult to navigate for both landlords and tenants alike. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will take a closer look at the new eviction laws in New York and what they mean for renters and property owners. We will explore the rights and responsibilities of both parties, the circumstances under which an eviction can take place, and the protections that are now in place to safeguard tenants from being unfairly forced out of their homes. By gaining a better understanding of the new eviction laws in New York, tenants and landlords alike can make informed decisions about their rights and obligations, helping to create a fairer and more equitable housing system for all.
It is important to note that eviction laws and rules may be different depending on whether the rental property is located within New York City or outside the city, and whether the property is rent-regulated or not.
What Is An Eviction?
An eviction is a legal process through which a landlord removes a tenant from a rental property. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as non-payment of rent, violation of the terms of the lease, or expiration of the lease term. Evictions are typically carried out through a court order, which gives the landlord the legal right to take possession of the property and remove the tenant and their belongings. While evictions are a necessary tool for landlords to protect their property and ensure that tenants comply with the terms of the lease, they can also be a difficult and emotional experience for both parties. It’s important for both landlords and tenants to understand the legal process and their rights and responsibilities when it comes to eviction.
How long does it take to evict a tenant in New York State?
The eviction process and timeline in New York State can vary depending on a number of factors, including the reason for eviction, the type of eviction proceeding, and the specific court handling the case. Here is a general overview of the process and timeline:
- Notice of Termination: The first step in the eviction process is typically for the landlord to provide the tenant with a Notice of Termination. The amount of notice required can vary depending on the reason for eviction but typically ranges from 30 to 90 days.
- Filing an Eviction Petition: If the tenant does not vacate the premises within the required time period, the landlord can file an eviction petition with the court. The amount of time it takes to file and serve the petition on the tenant can vary, but it is typically a matter of days or weeks.
- Court Hearing: Once the eviction petition has been filed, the court will schedule a hearing. The amount of time it takes to get a hearing can vary depending on the court’s schedule, but it is typically a matter of weeks.
- Judgment and Warrant: If the court finds in favor of the landlord, it will issue a judgment of possession and a warrant of eviction. The amount of time it takes to receive these documents can vary, but it is typically a matter of days or weeks.
- Execution of Warrant: Once the warrant of eviction is issued, the landlord must arrange for a marshal or sheriff to execute the warrant and remove the tenant from the premises. The amount of time it takes for the warrant to be executed can vary, but it is typically a matter of days.
Overall, the eviction process in New York State can take several weeks to several months, depending on the circumstances of the case and the court’s schedule. It is important to note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional protections in place for tenants, which may impact the eviction process and timeline.
What is considered an illegal eviction in New York State?
In New York State, an illegal eviction is an eviction that violates the state’s landlord-tenant laws. Here are some examples of actions that may constitute an illegal eviction:
- Self-help eviction: A landlord cannot evict a tenant by using self-help measures, such as changing the locks or removing the tenant’s belongings. The landlord must follow the legal process for eviction.
- Retaliatory eviction: A landlord cannot evict a tenant in retaliation for the tenant exercising their legal rights, such as complaining about housing code violations or organizing a tenant union.
- Discriminatory eviction: A landlord cannot evict a tenant based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
- Eviction without court order: A landlord must obtain a court order before evicting a tenant, except in cases where the tenant has abandoned the premises or poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of other residents.
- Harassment or intimidation: A landlord cannot use harassment, intimidation, or threats of violence to force a tenant to move out.
- Retention of personal property: A landlord cannot withhold a tenant’s personal property as a way to force them to move out.
If a landlord engages in any of these illegal eviction practices, the tenant may be able to take legal action to stop the eviction and seek damages. It is important for tenants to know their rights and seek legal advice if they believe their landlord is engaging in illegal eviction practices.
How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in NY?
The amount of notice a landlord must give a tenant to move out in New York State depends on the reason for the eviction. Here are some common scenarios and the corresponding notice periods:
- Nonpayment of Rent: If a tenant has not paid rent, the landlord must give the tenant a 14-day notice to pay rent or vacate the premises.
- End of Lease Term: If a lease has a specific end date and the landlord does not wish to renew the lease, the landlord does not need to give the tenant notice to move out. However, it is common for landlords to provide written notice of non-renewal at least 30 days before the end of the lease term.
- Month-to-Month Tenancy: If the tenant is on a month-to-month tenancy and the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy without cause, the landlord must give the tenant a 30-day notice to vacate the premises.
- Tenant Violations: If the tenant violates the lease agreement, the landlord must give the tenant a notice to cure or vacate, which specifies the violation and gives the tenant a certain number of days to correct the violation or move out. The number of days required for this notice can vary depending on the specific violation but is generally 10 to 30 days.
Notice for Termination With Cause
Landlords must have a good reason if they want to evict a tenant before the rental agreement is up or end a lease early. The renter may be kicked out early for a number of reasons, such as failure to pay rent or breaching the terms of the lease or rental agreement. The tenant must get written notice from the landlord before the eviction process may begin. The purpose of the eviction will dictate the kind of notice required.
Fourteen-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
The landlord may issue a 14-day notice to pay rent or vacate if the tenant fails to do so when required. This notice will inform the renter that they have fourteen days to vacate the rented unit or pay the entire amount of rent due. At the end of the fourteen days, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit with the court if the tenant does not pay the rent or vacate the rented property. (N.Y. Real Prop. Acts § 711(2)).
- Notice to Cure and Notice of Termination: If the landlord wants to evict the tenant because the tenant has violated the lease, the landlord must provide the tenant with two different types of notice.
- Notice to Cure: The notice to cure is the first notice the landlord needs to give to the tenant who has violated the lease. This notice informs the tenant that the tenant has ten days to correct the lease violation. If the tenant fixes the problem, the landlord cannot take any further steps against the tenant. However, if the tenant does not correct the violation, the landlord can then give the tenant a notice of termination.
- Notice of Termination: The landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination after the landlord has already given the tenant a notice to cure and the tenant has not complied with it. The notice of termination will then inform the tenant that the tenancy has been terminated because the tenant failed to correct the lease violation, and the tenant has 30 days to move out of the rental unit. If the tenant does not move out of the rental unit, then the landlord can begin eviction proceedings against the tenant through the court system (see the New York Courts self-help center for holdover notices and the book New York City Landlords and Owners, page 8, published by the New York City housing court, for more information).
Notice for Termination Without Cause
A tenancy cannot be ended by a landlord without justification. The landlord shall wait until the conclusion of the lease or rental period before requesting or expecting the tenant to depart if there is no justification for an eviction case. Yet, the landlord might still be required to give the tenant notice.
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement
When a landlord wants to evict a tenant under a month-to-month lease or rental agreement but does not have a good reason, the landlord must provide the following notice to the tenant: 30 days notice is required from tenants with one-year leases or tenants who have been occupying the property for that length of time. 60 days notice is required from tenants and lessees with lease terms of one to two years. 90 days notice is required from tenants who have been there more than two years or whose leases are two years or longer. (N.Y. Real Prop. §226-c)
The landlord must wait until the end of the term before anticipating the tenant to move out if the tenancy is for a fixed duration, such as six months or a year, and the landlord does not have a reason to stop it early. The landlord can anticipate the tenant moving out of the rental unit after the term is through; the landlord does not have to give the tenant notice to relocate unless the conditions of the lease compel it (unless the tenant has indicated otherwise, such as by asking for a lease renewal).
Tenant Eviction Defenses In New York
In New York, tenants have certain defenses they can use to fight an eviction. Here are some of the most common tenant eviction defenses in New York:
- Nonpayment of Rent: If the landlord is evicting the tenant for nonpayment of rent, the tenant may be able to fight the eviction by proving that they paid the rent or that the landlord is in violation of the lease agreement.
- Breach of Warranty of Habitability: A tenant can argue that they should not have to pay rent because the landlord is in violation of the warranty of habitability. This means that the apartment is not fit for living due to dangerous conditions like mold or lead paint, or other violations of the housing code.
- Retaliation: A tenant can defend against eviction if they believe the landlord is trying to evict them in retaliation for complaining about unsafe living conditions or for exercising their legal rights.
- Illegal Eviction: If the landlord is trying to evict the tenant without following proper procedures, such as failing to give notice or changing the locks, the tenant can fight the eviction.
- Discrimination: A tenant can defend against eviction if they believe that the landlord is evicting them due to discrimination based on their race, gender, national origin, disability, or another protected class status.
It is important to note that these defenses are not automatic and will require evidence and legal representation to be successful. Tenants should consult with an experienced attorney to discuss their options and develop a strategy for fighting eviction in New York.
Removal of the Tenant
The attempt by a landlord to evict a tenant from a rented property is prohibited. Only when the landlord has won an eviction lawsuit is the tenant evicted? Even then, a sheriff is the only person legally able to evict a renter from a rental property. The landlord can discover that the tenant left behind personal goods after the tenant has vacated. New York does not have rules that dictate how a landlord should handle this property, in contrast to the majority of states. Nonetheless, the property should not be sold off right away by the landlord. Instead, the landlord must inform the renter about the abandoned property and provide a fair window of time for the tenant to retrieve it. The landlord may sell or otherwise dispose of the property if the renter does not claim it within a reasonable amount of time.
Filing a Complaint
How to File a Complaint
After the written notice has been issued, the eviction procedure can only start. Before starting the eviction process, the landlord must have given adequate time to pass.
The eviction process is as follows:
- Proceed to the justice court in the city of the rental property
- File a Petition and Notice of Petition and include copies of the following: Notice to Quit, the lease/rental agreement, and proof/documentation that supports the petition
- Pay the court fees
The type of eviction proceeding, the location of the rental property, and the justice court where the petition and notice of petition were filed will all affect the fees.
It takes about 14 to 90 days from the issuance of the Notice to Vacate, depending on the reason for eviction and the lease agreement.
Talking To A New York Lawyer About Eviction
If you are facing eviction in New York and want to speak with a lawyer, here are some steps you can take:
- Research: Start by researching eviction attorneys in New York. You can use online directories, and legal aid organizations, or ask for recommendations from friends or family members. Look for lawyers with experience in eviction defense.
- Schedule a consultation: Contact the lawyers you are interested in and schedule a consultation. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations where they will review your case and discuss your options.
- Prepare for the consultation: Before your consultation, gather all relevant documents, such as your lease agreement, notices from your landlord, and any other relevant correspondence. Make a list of questions and concerns you have, and be prepared to discuss the details of your case.
- Ask questions: During the consultation, ask the lawyer about their experience with eviction defense, their approach to your case, and their fees. Make sure you understand the legal process and what to expect.
- Make a decision: After the consultation, consider whether the lawyer is a good fit for your case. Consider their experience, communication style, and comfort level with them. If you decide to hire them, be sure to get a clear understanding of their fees and the scope of their representation.
Remember that legal representation can be expensive, but there are also organizations in New York that offer free or low-cost legal services to low-income individuals. It is important to explore all of your options and seek legal assistance if you are facing eviction.