New York Real Estate Help: I’m Being Evicted, What Can I Do?

by | Dec 18, 2020 | New York Eviction Laws, Real Estate Law

Sometimes in life, things don’t quite go the way we planned, and due to Covid-19 sometimes we get hit with a baseball out of the left field that we find ourselves in trouble times that sends us reeling in the wrong direction. 

An eviction notice can be very frightening, unsettling, and intimidating. In this article, we will discuss what you can do if you’re being evicted in New York.  

Fast Is Action Required 

If you or your family has been threatened with eviction because you’ve failed to pay rent or you’ve violated the terms of your lease, you will need to take fast action to resolve or delay the eviction by contacting a licensed New York real estate attorney. 

speak to a new york real estate attorney

No matter the reason for the eviction, the most important thing you – as a tenant – should know is that the landlord will never legally be allowed to remove you from the premises nor retake possession of their home without a court order specifically mandating the eviction. 

This means they cannot change your locks, remove your furniture from the property, or turn off your utilities. Nor can they make threatening demands or remarks. 

All eviction cases are dealt with and reviewed by a New York court of law. Having strong and experienced legal consultation and representation can make all the difference between you keeping or losing your home. 

When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant in New York?

New York law permits landlords to evict tenants should there be a violation of the written lease agreement or when tenants fail to make on-time payments. But let’s take a bit of a deeper look into what would constitute “grounds for eviction”. 

The most common cause for landlord-tenant eviction in New York is not paying rent. If you are not or have not paid rent, New York law allows for your landlord to serve you eviction papers. 

However, New York law does require that any landlord give advance notice of eviction, and has to show proof that they gave you a demand for payment at least 14 days prior to the eviction notice. Eviction notices usually give you three days to either pay rent or leave. But remember, you cannot be evicted unless it’s been approved by a New York court of law. 

In the case of a month-to-month lease, if you have failed to pay rent, your landlord will need to give you between 30-90 days of notice depending on how long you have lived in the house or apartment. 

  • 1 year requires a 30-day notice
  • 2 years requires a 60-day notice
  • 3 years requires a 90-day notice

The second most common reason is for violation of the lease agreement. Serious violations can terminate a lease or cause it to expire. Generally, the violation needs to be serious and in all cases, the landlord must prove in a court of law that the violation occurred. 

If your landlord wants to evict you for violating your lease they must give you a ten-day notice of the violation and give you a chance to remedy the violation. If you are able to make it right, you cannot be evicted. 

If you are unable to fix the violation within ten days, the landlord will need to give you a notice of evictions and 30 days to move. 

Again, no eviction can take place without express approval from a New York court of law so no matter your eviction circumstances one of the first actions you should do is find legal help by contacting a licensed New York real estate attorney. 

How Can I Defend Myself Against an Eviction in New York?

If you have been given an eviction notice because you’ve not been able to keep up with rent or because of a lease violation, here are a few things you can do to counter the eviction: 

  1. Paying your rent. If you are served an eviction notice and given three days to move, you can counter the eviction by paying your rent and any past amount due. Be sure to receive a written receipt for the rent payments as this will be required in your court hearing. 
  2. According to New York law, landlords must maintain the home or apartment in acceptable living conditions. If your landlord tries to evict you but has not kept the home in habitable conditions, such as leaving major repairs undone, then you as a tenant have the right to withhold rent until those issues are fixed. 
  3. Fixing the violation. In New York, any landlord that tries to evict their tenant for lease violations must first give them a 10-day notice of the violation and after that an eviction notice with 30 days to move. If within this period you are able to repair the violation and prove that to the court you will not need to move. But remember you will need proof that the violation is fixed. 

Get Legal Representation in New York

Once your landlord gives you an eviction notice, the matter is immediately moved to a court of law. If you intend to keep your home and counter the eviction, you will want experienced legal counsel and representation on your side. 

speak to a new york real estate attorney

Annie Justice Piccinnini Law Senior Editor

Annie Justice
Senior Editor
Piccinnini Law
(516) 500-2110