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FAQs

  • Why do Landlords Start Eviction Cases?
  • What is a Nonpayment Proceeding?
  • What is a Holdover?
  • What is an HP Proceeding?
  • How are Commercial Landlord and Tenant Cases Different Than Residential Landlord Tenant Cases?
  • Are There any Special Considerations When a Landlord Terminates a Commercial Tenant's Lease?
  • Why do Tenants Start Cases in Housing Court?
  • What can a Housing Court Judge can Order?
  • How Much Time Does It Take to Evict a Tenant?
  • What are the Possible Outcomes for a Landlord That Brings an Eviction Case?
  • What is a Judgment?
  • What can a Landlord do if the Tenant Has Stopped Paying Rent?
  • What can a Landlord do if There is a Person Living in the Apartment Who was Invited to Stay by the Former Tenant Before the Tenant Moved Out?
  • What can a Landlord do if There are People Living in the Premises That Moved in Without Permission from the Landlord or Anyone Else?
  • May a Landlord Sue for Money and Possession of the Subject Premises at the Same Time?
  • Should a Landlord Apply the Security Deposit to a Tenant's Unpaid Rent?
  • Can a Landlord Obtain Legal Fees and Late Fees?
  • Can a Landlord Change a Tenant's Locks to Force the Tenant to Move?
  • May a Landlord Turn Off Essential Services Such as the Heat, Water or Electricity to Force the Tenant to Move?
  • May a Landlord Change the Locks on a Tenant's Apartment in Order to Lock Out a Tenant?
  • May a Landlord Change the Locks in Order to Lock Out Squatters?
  • What is Service of Process?
  • What Happens if the Legal Documents are Not Served the Right Way?
  • May a Landlord / Owner Serve the Legal Papers Personally?
  • What if There are Other People Living in the Home?
  • What Happens if the Tenant Never Picks Up the Certified Copy of the Legal Papers from the Post Office?
  • Why is a Predicate Demand or Notice Necessary for a Landlord to Start Most Landlord Tenant Cases?
  • What is a Petition?
  • What Happens if a Tenant Doesn't Answer the Legal Papers or a Landlord or Tenant Misses the Court Date?
  • In an Eviction Case, What Happens if a Tenant and a Landlord Can't Agree?
  • What Happens if a Tenant Doesn't Answer the Legal Papers or a Landlord or Tenant Misses the Court Date?
  • What Happens if Both the Landlord and Tenant (Both Sides) Appear in Court?
  • What is a Stipulation of Settlement?
  • In an Eviction Case, What Happens if a Tenant and a Landlord Can't Agree?
  • What is an Order to Show Cause?
  • Will an Order to Show Cause Stop the Eviction of a Tenant?
  • What is a Warrant Requisition?
  • How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Warrant?
  • What Does It Mean to Get an “Issuance” of a Warrant of Eviction?
  • What is an Eviction?
  • What is a "Notice” of Eviction"?
  • What Does It Mean to Have a City Marshal “Execute” the Warrant of Eviction?
  • What is the Purpose of the Re-service of the Notice of Eviction?
  • Are There Special Rules for Children, Mentally Ill, Handicapped, Elderly or Others?
  • What Property May be Removed During an Eviction?
  • What if a City Marshal Finds Living Animals in the Premises?
  • What Property May the Tenant Remove from the Premises During an Eviction?
  • What if a City Marshal Finds Money in the Premises?
  • What Items are Not to be Removed During an Eviction?
  • What is New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Expiration Provisions?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA)Changed Rent Regulation Luxury Deregulation (NYC Admin. Code Section 26-504.2 & 26-504.3)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Rent Increases for Building Improvements for Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs) and Major Capital Improvements (MCIs) (NYC Admin. Code Sections 26-511(13) & 26-511.1, 26-511(6), 24-405.1)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Rent Increases During Vacancies (NYC Admin. Code Section 26-510(j)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Rent Stabilization Coverage?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Rent Overcharge Claims, Treble Damages, Records Requirements and Choice of Forum (NYC Admin. Code Section 26-516(a), CPLR 213-a)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Preferential Rents (NYC Admin. Code Section 26-511(14)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Recovery of Regulated Apartments for Owner's Use (NYC Admin. Code Sections 26-511(b), and 26-408(1)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Non-Profit Exemption from Rent Stabilization?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Rent Regulation Rent Increases for Rent Controlled Tenants (NYC Admin. Code Sections 26-405(a)(5) and 26-407.1)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Law Notices Prior to Expiration of Lease and of Rent Increase (RPL Sections 226-c and 232-a and 232-b)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Law Duty to Mitigate Damages by Renting Apartment (RPL Section 227-e)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Law Notice to Tenant of Failure to Pay Rent and Rent Receipts (RPL Section 235-e)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Law Attorney Fees, Non-Rent Fees and Rental Application Fees RPL Sections 234 and 238-a)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Law Retaliatory Eviction (RPL Section 223-b)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Law Tenant Blacklists (RPL Sections 227-f and Judiciary Law Section 212)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Nonpayment Proceedings (RPAPL Section 711(2) and RPAPL Sections 732(1) and 732(3)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Timing in Nonpayment Proceedings RPAPL Sections 732(1) and 732(3)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Right to Pay Prior to Hearing (RPAPL 731(4)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Rent Defined to Exclude Fees (RPAPL Section 702)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Timing of Holdover Proceedings (RPAPL Sections 733(1) and 743?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Rent Deposits and Motions for Use and Occupancy During Pendency of Summary Proceedings (RPAPL Section 745)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Judgments and Stays (RPAPL Section 747-a)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to the Warrant of Eviction and the Marshal's Notice (RPAPL Sections 749(1) and 749(2)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Post-Trial Stay (RPAPL Sections 753(1) and 753(3)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Unlawful Eviction (RPAPL Section 768)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Obligations Law That Pertain to Limits on Security Deposits and Pre-Paid Rent (GOL Section 7-108(1-a)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Obligations Law That Pertain to Inspection of Premises, Return of Security Deposit (GOL Section 7-108(1-a)(c)-(e)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Business Law That Pertain to Conversion to Cooperative and Condominium Ownership (GBL Section 352-e)?
  • How Has New York's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Obligations Law That Pertain to Manufactured Homes?

Q. Why do Landlords Start Eviction Cases?

A. Landlords start cases to collect rent and to evict tenants.

Q. What is a Nonpayment Proceeding?

A. A court case started by the landlord to collect unpaid rent and to evict the tenant if the tenant cannot pay the rent that is owe

Q. What is a Holdover?

A. A holdover case is brought to evict a tenant or a person in the apartment who is not a tenant for reasons other than simple nonpayment of rent.

Q. What is an HP Proceeding?

A. This is a court case usually started by a tenant and to have a landlord make repairs to an apartment.

Q. How are Commercial Landlord and Tenant Cases Different Than Residential Landlord Tenant Cases?

A. In general, the procedure for commercial landlord and tenant cases is the same as for residential landlord and tenant cases. Summary proceedings brought in commercial cases are returnable in the Commercial Part 52 courtroom. The commercial landlord and tenant cases are presided over by the Civil Court Judges. One judge is assigned as the up-front judge to handle any applications during the call of the calendar and to handle the commercial motions. Motions must be decided within 30 days. Cases that are trial ready are sent out to one of the judges assigned to sit as back-up judges.

Q. Are There any Special Considerations When a Landlord Terminates a Commercial Tenant's Lease?

A. A commercial tenant can potentially seek to have the case placed in Supreme Court by filing a “Yellowstone Injunction.” Usually the fees associated with litigation in Supreme Court a higher than Landlord Tenant Court and the Supreme Court litigation is usually slower.

Q. Why do Tenants Start Cases in Housing Court?

A. Tenants start cases in Housing Court to get repairs, move back in after an eviction, or to stop harassment by the landlord.

Q. What can a Housing Court Judge can Order?

A. A Housing Court Judge can order: (1) payment of rent, (2) a tenant out of an apartment, (3) a tenant back in an apartment, (4) repairs, and (5) money due on counterclaims.

Q. How Much Time Does It Take to Evict a Tenant?

A. It depends on what type of legal defense the tenant has and whether a judge allows delays filed by the tenant.

Q. What are the Possible Outcomes for a Landlord That Brings an Eviction Case?

A. Generally, the possible outcomes of an eviction case are: (1) a judgment, (2) dismissal, or (3) discontinuance.

Q. What is a Judgment?

A. A judgment is the he final decision of the judge. It is a determination of the rights and obligations of the parties. In a given lawsuit, a judgment may direct a dismissal of the lawsuit, order payment of a money amount or a direct one or more of the parties to do an act.

Q. What can a Landlord do if the Tenant Has Stopped Paying Rent?

A. If a tenant has stopped paying rent a landlord can start a nonpayment case. First, the landlord must first make a rent demand. If the tenant doesn't pay, the landlord can start a case in court.

Q. What can a Landlord do if There is a Person Living in the Apartment Who was Invited to Stay by the Former Tenant Before the Tenant Moved Out?

A. If there is someone living in the premises that started living there with the tenant's permission before the tenant moved out, that person is a licensee. A landlord can start a licensee holdover case. First, the landlord must serve the licensee with a notice to quit. If the licensee doesn't move out, the landlord can start a case in court.

Q. What can a Landlord do if There are People Living in the Premises That Moved in Without Permission from the Landlord or Anyone Else?

A. If there are people living in your premises who moved in without the landlord's permission or without permission from anyone else, these people are squatters. A landlord can start a squatter holdover case to evict them. First, the landlord must serve each squatter with a Notice to Quit. If the squatters don't move out, the landlord can start a court case.

Q. May a Landlord Sue for Money and Possession of the Subject Premises at the Same Time?

A. If a Landlord is seeking to obtain possession, usually possession of the subject premises is obtained separately or prior to obtaining a judgment. A collection case may be commenced after the tenant is out of possession. If the court awards the petitioner a possessory judgment, then a warrant of eviction may issue. The judgment may include rent due, and if no rent is due while the respondent is in possession, the fair value of use and occupancy of the premises.

Q. Should a Landlord Apply the Security Deposit to a Tenant's Unpaid Rent?

A. No. Generally the courts will make it difficult to replace security.

Q. Can a Landlord Obtain Legal Fees and Late Fees?

A. A judgment may also contain an award of legal fees to the winning party. Generally, each party in a lawsuit is responsible for its own legal fees, unless there is an agreement or a statute which provides otherwise. If the lease between the parties provides for an award of legal fees to the landlord for the tenant's failure to perform any agreement in the lease, the tenant also has the same right to collect an award of legal fees for his or her attorney.

Q. Can a Landlord Change a Tenant's Locks to Force the Tenant to Move?

A. No. This is called an “illegal lockout” and Landlords may be subjected to treble damages and potential criminal proceedings.

Q. May a Landlord Turn Off Essential Services Such as the Heat, Water or Electricity to Force the Tenant to Move?

A. No. This is generally called a “constructive eviction.” Landlords may be subjected to treble damages and potential criminal proceedings.

Q. May a Landlord Change the Locks on a Tenant's Apartment in Order to Lock Out a Tenant?

A. No. This is called an “illegal lockout” and Landlords may be subjected to treble damages and potential criminal proceedings

Q. May a Landlord Change the Locks in Order to Lock Out Squatters?

A. No. This is called an “illegal lockout” and Landlords may be subjected to treble damages and potential criminal proceedings. However, if those individuals have been in the subject premises for less than 30 days, you may notify the police department for possible assistance.

Q. What is Service of Process?

A. The delivery of copies of legal documents to the defendant or other person to whom the documents are directed. Legal documents which must be served include a summons, complaint, petition, order to show cause, subpoena, notice to quit the premises and certain other documents. The procedure for service of process is specifically set out in statutes.

Q. What Happens if the Legal Documents are Not Served the Right Way?

A. If you don't serve a tenant, the right way the Judge may make you start all over again. The case may be dismissed without prejudice to you starting over.

Q. May a Landlord / Owner Serve the Legal Papers Personally?

A. The landlord/owner can't serve the legal papers because a person having a direct interest in a legal matter, transaction or proceeding can't serve their legal papers. The landlord should have a process server deliver legal papers.

Q. What if There are Other People Living in the Home?

A. Every adult that is listed in the legal papers must be served with his or her own set of the legal papers. This includes any legal papers that are mailed.

Q. What Happens if the Tenant Never Picks Up the Certified Copy of the Legal Papers from the Post Office?

A. The Court considers the legal papers served whether the tenant picked up the certified mailing or not, as long as the rest of the rules were followed.

Q. Why is a Predicate Demand or Notice Necessary for a Landlord to Start Most Landlord Tenant Cases?

A. The law requires a landlord to serve a tenant with a Demand or Notice prior to filing a case in court. The landlord's case may likely be dismissed without a proper predicate Demand or Notice.

Q. What is a Petition?

A. A Petition in special or summary landlord tenant proceeding is a legal paper like a complaint filed in court and delivered to the tenants and occupants stating what the landlord requests from the court and the tenants and occupants.

Q. What Happens if a Tenant Doesn't Answer the Legal Papers or a Landlord or Tenant Misses the Court Date?

A. If a tenant does not answer the court papers or misses a court date; the landlord could win a judgment which could result in an eviction. To ask the court to stop the eviction and reopen the case the tenant must have both a good reason for not going to court when the tenant was supposed to and a good reason or defense why the landlord should not win the case.

Q. In an Eviction Case, What Happens if a Tenant and a Landlord Can't Agree?

A. They will have a trial. The landlord will have to prove the case. If the landlord can't prove the case, it will be thrown out; if the landlord proves the case, the landlord will get a judgment against the tenant for the eviction.

Q. What Happens if a Tenant Doesn't Answer the Legal Papers or a Landlord or Tenant Misses the Court Date?

A. If a respondent fails to answer or appear in court, the petitioner is entitled to seek a default judgment. Unlike a nonpayment proceeding, the Judge will hold an inquest for the petitioner to prove his or her claims. The court will tell you when and where the inquest will take place; it may or may not be conducted in the Resolution Part. At the inquest, the petitioner will also be required to provide information as to the respondent's military status. If the landlord proves his or her case, the judge will direct that a judgment be entered. A final judgment in a holdover proceeding provides for a possessory judgment and may also provide for a money judgment. If the money judgment is not timely paid, the respondent can be evicted. Even if the money judgment is paid, or if there is no money judgment, the respondent can be evicted if there is a possessory judgment. The judge may require that the petitioner serve a copy of the judgment on the respondent. The judgment will normally permit the issuance of a warrant. Most New York City landlords contact a city marshal, provide information and/or a copy of the judgment to the city marshal and the city marshal then files a request for the issuance of a warrant with the clerk. Once the warrant issues, the city marshal may evict the respondent.

Q. What Happens if Both the Landlord and Tenant (Both Sides) Appear in Court?

A. If both the landlord and tenant appear in court the case will be ready to proceed. A large number of holdover cases are settled in conferences which may include the petitioner, the respondent, and the attorneys for each side/party, mediators, court attorneys, and at times even a Judge.

Q. What is a Stipulation of Settlement?

A. If the case is settled, a stipulation of settlement will be written. The stipulation of settlement may provide for the issuance of a judgment and warrant if the respondent fails to comply with the conditions of the stipulation. The stipulation may contain requirements for the petitioner to notify the respondent before the warrant may be issued. The stipulation may require the petitioner to make a motion to the court, either on notice or without notice to the other side, before the warrant can be executed. Whatever, the stipulation requires, the conditions must be complied with before the judgment and/or warrant can be entered or issued. Once the petitioner has obtained a judgment and warrant of eviction based upon the stipulation of settlement, the city marshal can evict the respondent.

Q. In an Eviction Case, What Happens if a Tenant and a Landlord Can't Agree?

A. If both the landlord and tenant appear in court and a settlement cannot be reached, the case will be sent to a Trial Part for trial before a Housing Court Judge.

Q. What is an Order to Show Cause?

A. An Order to Show Cause is a written request to bring the case to a Judge for a reason or reasons in the Order to Show Cause papers. An Order to Show Cause must be signed by a judge and will state the date, time, and courtroom for the court hearing.

Q. Will an Order to Show Cause Stop the Eviction of a Tenant?

A. A tenant may ask the court to issue an Order to Show Cause (OSC) and a Stay, an order staying, or delaying, the eviction until the issues raised by the tenant are addressed on a hearing date set by the court. If a city marshal is served with a signed OSC that stays the eviction, he or she is legally bound by the directions of the court, but if the court does not stay the eviction, the city marshal must go forward with it. Unless otherwise directed by the court, the city marshal, after being served with an OSC that stays the eviction, must serve an additional Notice of Eviction by regular mail before conducting the eviction or legal possession.

Q. What is a Warrant Requisition?

A. Once a judgment is obtained. A warrant requisition is the paperwork submitted to a city marshal in order to legally evict an individual.

Q. How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Warrant?

A. It takes about three to six weeks to obtain a warrant, depending on the court and specific circumstances of the case.

Q. What Does It Mean to Get an “Issuance” of a Warrant of Eviction?

A. The issuance of a warrant of eviction authorizes a sheriff or city marshal to perform an eviction.

Q. What is an Eviction?

A. An eviction is the removal of a tenant and his or her personal belongings from an apartment. The city marshal sees that any entrance locks on the premises to which the tenant may have access are changed. Before a landlord can evict a tenant, a city marshal must serve a marshal's notice, also called a notice of eviction.

Q. What is a "Notice” of Eviction"?

A. A notice of eviction is a written notice from a city marshal or sheriff warning a tenant that the tenant has move out.

Q. What Does It Mean to Have a City Marshal “Execute” the Warrant of Eviction?

A. Before executing the warrant of eviction a city marshal must give notice in writing to the persons to be evicted. After providing notice, scheduling the eviction, and confirming the eviction with the landlord; a city marshal may perform an eviction or obtain legal possession between on a business day, Monday through Friday, except on legal holidays.

Q. What is the Purpose of the Re-service of the Notice of Eviction?

A. The purpose of the Notice of Eviction is to make sure that the respondent has adequate advanced warning of an eviction. If the notice becomes stale after delivery, it can no longer be used and there must be a re-service of the Notice of Eviction.

Q. Are There Special Rules for Children, Mentally Ill, Handicapped, Elderly or Others?

A. The city marshals are required to find out in advance if the premises are occupied by any individual unable to fend for themselves and if so, to notify the Department of Investigation before scheduling the eviction. City marshals must notify local police if unattended children are found at an eviction site. If, upon arriving at the premises, a city marshal discovers that the tenant or any occupants of the unit are mentally ill, handicapped, elderly, or otherwise unable to care for themselves, a city marshal must notify the Department of Investigation and the appropriate social welfare agency. The eviction must be postponed for approximately two weeks to give the appropriate social service agency an opportunity to provide assistance to such occupants.

Q. What Property May be Removed During an Eviction?

A. The landlord may choose between having the city marshal perform an eviction and having a city marshal obtain legal possession. In both, the marshal returns control of the premises to the landlord. For an eviction, a city marshal must hire a bonded moving company licensed by the New York State Department of Transportation and must direct the moving company to deliver the items removed from the premises to a warehouse licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs. In a legal possession, the tenant's personal property remains under the care and control of the landlord until the tenant can arrange to transport the property to another location.

Q. What if a City Marshal Finds Living Animals in the Premises?

A. If a city marshal finds any living animals, he or she must notify Animal Rescue to remove the animals. City marshals are required to prepare a written inventory of all items contained in the premises of any tenant to be evicted.

Q. What Property May the Tenant Remove from the Premises During an Eviction?

A. If a tenant is present at an eviction, the tenant has the right to remove any property or valuables. Property can also be released to a relative, friend or neighbor, if a city marshal is satisfied that the person has the authority to take the property.

FAQs - Part 2 >>

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