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Process Service for Landlords


Our domestic process service ensures that legal documents, including summons, complaints, divorce papers, family court documents, subpoenas, small claims court cases, evictions, and more, are professionally delivered and served. Our skilled process servers operate across all 50 states, providing reliable and efficient service in New York, and every state in between. No matter the complexity or urgency of your legal matter, our team is here to deliver the highest quality service.


Unless there is a written or verbal lease which indicates otherwise, before a Summary Proceeding (Landlord-Tenant proceeding) can be brought for non-payment of rent, a personal demand for rent or service of a written notice giving the tenant at least 14 days to pay the rent or surrender possession of the premises must be served upon the tenant.

The 14 day notice must state the amount of the rent due and the period of time for which the amount is due, together with a demand that the total amount be paid within 14 business days after service of the notice. The date of service, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are excluded. Payment of the rent before the hearing must be accepted by the landlord and ends the proceeding.

2. AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE (for service of 14 day notice): After the 14 day notice has been served on the tenant, an Affidavit of Service must be signed before a Notary Public by the person that served the 14 day notice. The papers must be served by a person over the age of 18 years old. It is suggested that the papers NOT be served by the landlord, but by a disinterested third person.

After the tenant has been served with the 14-day notice and has failed to pay the rent due, a Landlord- Tenant Proceeding can be initiated in the City Court by completing and filing the following documents:

3. NOTICE OF PETITION (e.g. Eviction Legally form X445):
This paper can be issued by an Attorney, a Judge or the Clerk of the Court. If a Judge or the Clerk of the Court is asked to sign the Notice of Petition, the Petition must be completed by the landlord and submitted to the City Court offices before it is served on the tenant.

Special Note: When completing the Petition (see below) and Notice of Petition, the landlord must call the Court for a court date, which must appear in the Notice of Petition. The Court Date cannot be sooner than 10 days nor later than 17 days from the date the tenant is served. Generally, Summary Proceedings are held on Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. The landlord (petitioner) and the tenant (respondent), if properly served, must appear on the court date.

4. PETITION (e.g. Eviction Legally form X444):
The Petition is a form that must be completed by the landlord and attached to the Notice of Petition and the 14-day notice, which was previously served on the tenant. The Petition must state the respondent's interest in the property, that is, the petitioner must specify if the respondent is a tenant, a sub-tenant, or someone in possession of the property for some other reason. To do this, the petitioner should state if there is a written lease or a verbal agreement to lease, and if so, the terms of such an agreement (length of lease term and payment schedule e.g. payment once a month)

The landlord is to sign the Petition before a Notary Public.

When the papers are completed, a Court Date provided and the Judge or Clerk of the Court has signed the Notice of Petition, then and only then can the tenant be served with the Notice of Petition and Petition.

Most of the time you must give the tenant a written notice before you can start a holdover case to get rid of the tenant. If you have to give the tenant a notice, there are different ones and you must give the tenant the right one. The notice must be delivered to the tenant the right way. Visit How Legal Papers Are Delivered.

If the tenant or occupant doesn’t move out by the deadline in the notice, you can start a holdover case.


Notice to Cure

If the tenant has done something that is not allowed by the lease you must give the tenant a written notice called a Notice to Cure. Examples of when you use this Notice are if the tenant has a pet, or a washing machine that you did not agree to, or the tenant is too loud all the time. The Notice to Cure tells the tenant what he or she is doing wrong and gives the tenant 10 days to fix the problem. If the tenant fixes the problem, the tenant can stay and you can’t start the case. If the tenant doesn’t correct the problem by the deadline in the notice, you must give the tenant a second written notice called a Notice of Termination before you can start a case.


Notice of Termination

If the tenant never had a lease, or had a lease but you collected rent after it ended you must give the tenant a Notice of Termination. You do not serve a Notice to Cure. If you want to evict a tenant who did something not allowed by the lease, you must give the tenant a Notice to Cure before you can serve a Notice of Termination.

A Notice of Termination is given to a tenant to end the tenancy. The notice tells the tenant the reason, the date that the tenant must move, and that a case will be started if the tenant doesn’t move by the deadline. Give the tenant at least 30 days notice to leave. The last day in the notice must be the last day of a rental period. For example, if the tenant pays rent on the 15th of every month then the last day should be the 14th of the month.

Taking the rent after the termination date in the notice restarts the tenancy. The tenant can tell this to the court and your case may be dismissed.


Notice to Quit

If someone is living in the home that you didn’t rent to, you must serve a Notice to Quit. The Notice to Quit must tell the occupant that he or she has 10 days to move and must give the reason. The reason is either that the occupant has to move because he or she is a licensee or a squatter.

A licensee is someone that the tenant invited to live in the home without your permission. If the property is outside NYC, there is a free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to make a Notice to Quit for a licensee outside NYC.

A squatter is someone that started living in the home without anybody’s permission. There is a free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to make a Notice to Quit for a Squatter outside NYC.

In New York City, copies of the Notice of Petition and Petition must be served to the tenants before an eviction case can move forward. The Notice of Petition informs the tenant of the time, date, and venue of the court hearing, while the Petition details the reason for eviction.

The papers must be served no later than 10 days before the date of the hearing, and the tenant has 10 days to file a response. Proper service must be followed; otherwise, the case could be dismissed.

Eviction Legally outlines everything you need to know about serving papers in New York for residential evictions.

How Is Proper Service Defined?

The landlord is not allowed to serve the papers themselves. While technically, anyone of the legal age of 18 and above can serve legal documents in New York, a licensed process server is better suited for this task. A process server knows the laws constituting proper service in New York.

Once you’ve decided on a process server, the papers may be served through the following methods:

  1. Personal Service: A qualified process server hand-delivers a copy of the Notice of Petition and Petition to the tenant/s.

  2. Substituted Service: A copy of the Notice of Petition and Petition is left with someone of “suitable age and discretion.” The person should be living or working in the residential unit. In addition, copies of the documents must be mailed to the tenant by the next business day—one via certified mail and another by regular mail.

  3. Conspicuous Service: The process server must try to personally deliver the legal papers to the tenant or someone who lives or works in the apartment at least two times. The two attempts must be made at different times of the day, such as during and after work hours.

After two unsuccessful attempts, the process server can tape copies of the documents to the tenant’s door or leave them under it. After which, one copy each should be mailed to the tenant via certified mail and regular mail.

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