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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does New York State law allow me to handle my own eviction?
    Technically, yes you can handle your case pro se, but the New York Property Code is complex. There are many mistakes that could be made that will cause delays and could cause you to lose your case. You should hire an eviction company with years of experience that knows exactly how to win quickly and without mistakes. We will bring this experience to work for you.
  • Can I find a good New York State eviction notice online?
    Probably, but unless you are familiar with the New York State Property Code, you won’t know if the notice you find is good, or defective until you're in court and win, or lose your case. A bad notice, or one that is delivered in an incorrect way will cost you or the owner of the property thousands of dollars in lost rental income and additional fees. Don't gamble with your eviction notice.
  • How should I serve an eviction notice to my tenant?
    Before filing for an eviction with the court, you need to issue the tenant a notice to terminate. You can either download the free PDF or Word template, or create your New York eviction notice from here using a step-by-step wizard that guides you through the entire process to make sure you are submitting the legally correct notice. Keep in mind, the step-by-step wizard will ask you to pay a small fee at the end - it's a small price to pay to ensure legal compliance and protection. The last thing you want is to go to court only to find out you did the first process incorrect. A copy of the Notice of Petition and Petition is served to the tenant. It must be served 10-17 days before the hearing. There are several methods to accomplish this: Personal Service - The court official delivers a copy of the Notice of Petition and Petition to the tenant in person Substituted Service - If the tenant is unavailable, someone living with the tenant who is over the age of 18 may receive the documents Posting- The server leaves a copy of the documents in a secure and visible place by the entrance of the property When using the Substituted Service or Posting method, the server has the additional responsibility of mailing the documents via first-class mail AND via registered/certified mail. Landlords are not allowed to serve the documents to the tenant themselves. They have to ask someone uninvolved in the case to do it for them. There are specific requirements for choosing the person who will serve the documents to the tenant. They must be a Professional Process Server or an adult The person must not have served on behalf of the landlord more than five times in one year They must not be named in the case
  • Do I have to attend my court date in the Civil Court?
    If you hire us you will definitely need to attend if you personally hand delivered the notice to vacate. To minimize your involvement it is best to hire us from the very beginning so that we can correctly manage the entire process for you.
  • Can I force a tenant to move out in New York?
    No. A landlord could be sued for forceful eviction of a tenant if they skip the proper eviction processes. In the state of New York, tenants can sue their landlord for the following amounts: Three times the actual damages Civil penalties ranging between $1,000 to $10,000 As another consequence of forceful eviction, the statute allows tenants the right to stay in the property.
  • Which eviction methods are considered illegal?
    Self-help eviction is illegal. Examples of such acts include (but are not limited to): Cutting off the tenant’s electric, water, and/or heat supply Changing the locks to prevent the tenant from entering the property Vandalizing or destroying the tenant’s property
  • What other NY laws should I be aware of?
    Landlords should be aware of the changes made to the Eviction Policies in the state of New York. Especially in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also wise for landlords to check out laws on Security Deposits. These deposits protect the landlord in case the tenants violate any terms in the lease/rental agreement or fail to pay their rent. Other than that, tenants are protected by Rental Laws in the state of New York. Landlords should check out laws about raising rent prices, regulation of late fees, and the like.
  • How do I file a complaint?
    The eviction process can only begin after the issuance of the written notice. The landlord must have allowed enough time 30, 60, or 90 Days (depending on how long the tenant has been living at the property) to pass before beginning to file for eviction. The eviction process is as follows: Proceed to the civil court in the city of the rental property File a Petition and Notice of Petition and include copies of the following: Notice of termination, the lease/rental agreement, and proof/documentation (Affidavits) that supports the petition Pay the court fees Fees will vary depending on the kind of eviction case, the location of the rental property, and the justice court where the Petition and Notice of Petition were filed.
  • What if my tenant is conducting legal activity?
    In New York City, if a tenant has engaged in illegal behavior within the property, the landlord is not obliged to give them a written notice. The landlord can proceed with the eviction process immediately. Examples of illegal activities are: Involvement in the creation, distribution, or consumption of illegal drugs Domestic abuse Prostitution Whether the tenants correct the violation or not, they are not allowed to stay in the property once the court makes a decision. Landlords are advised to keep a close eye on their tenants to make sure illegal behavior does not go unnoticed.
  • What if my tenant is in violation of the lease/rental agreement?
    The rental/lease agreement has to be upheld by both the tenant and landlord for the entire duration of the tenant’s stay. Agreements may vary from tenant to tenant. If the tenant violates any terms from the rental/lease agreement, the landlord should issue a 10-Day Notice to Cure. If the tenant resolves the issues on time, the eviction process does not continue. Lease violations may include: Damaging rental property Repeated public disturbances Smoking in non-smoking areas Keeping pets in pet-free properties, etc. If the tenant fails to resolve the violations after the initial ten days, the landlord must give them a second notice called a 30-Day Notice of termination. The tenant can no longer resolve the violations and must vacate the property. This notice informs them of the end of their lease/rental agreement. If the tenant continues living in the rental property after thirty days, the eviction process continues.
  • What if my tenant fails to pay the rent on time?
    Rent in New York City is considered late a day past its due date. The lease/rental agreement may state a longer grace period. Before a landlord can try to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, they are required to send a letter to the tenant via USPS certified mail (never by e-mail). This letter must be sent at least five days past the due date to inform the tenant that the landlord has not received rent yet. If the tenant confirms that rent is still unpaid or does not reply, the landlord may proceed with a written 14-Day Rent Demand to begin the eviction process. In the case that the tenant pays the rent or moves out of the property within fourteen days, then the eviction process does not continue. If they still haven’t paid rent and continue living in the property by the end of the fourteen days, the landlord can continue with the eviction lawsuit. See N.Y. Real Prop. Acts § 711(2) In the state of New York, landlords may charge a late fee for the late payment of rent. They may only do so after the statewide grace period of five days. The lease/rental agreement should say that any late rent payments will result in a late fee. Late fees should not go beyond $50 or 5% of the rent, whichever is less.

2023 Eviction Process in New York: Laws for Landlords & Property Managers

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