Evicting a tenant in New York requires the landlord to serve a formal notice on the tenant before beginning eviction proceedings. The notice informs the tenant that the landlord is preparing to file for eviction and the reason why they are filing. This can include nonpayment of rent, a breach of a term of the lease agreement, or the tenant’s refusal to vacate the premises after their lease agreement has terminated. The notice also gives the tenant a specific time period to cure the breach, pay back overdue rent, or move out of the rental unit. If the tenant does not respond to the notice, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings by filing a Petition and Notice of Petition. The New York court system has DIY online forms for both NY State and New York City.
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
- Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
- Step 3 – File in Court
- Step 4 – Serve the Tenant
- Step 5 – Appear in Court
- Step 6 – Obtain Warrant for Eviction
- Step 7 – Repossess the Property
The landlord must serve a written notice on the tenant explaining why they intend to evict and the amount of time the tenant has to answer the notice before eviction proceedings begin. There are three (3) notice types in New York:
- Non-Payment of Rent (14-Day Notice): Also known as a “Demand for Rent”. A landlord uses this when the tenant does not pay their rent by the due date established in the lease agreement. They have fourteen (14) days to respond to the notice before the landlord can file for eviction.1
- Non-Compliance (30-Day Notice): This notice can be used when a tenant breaches a term of the lease agreement other than nonpayment of rent. The tenant has thirty (30) days to respond to the notice before the landlord can begin eviction proceedings.2
- Month-to-Month Tenancy (30-Day Notice): Either the landlord or tenant can terminate a month-to-month lease agreement by serving the other party with this notice. It must be served at least thirty (30) days before the agreement is intended to end.3,4
The landlord waits the number of days on the notice to give the tenant an opportunity to respond, cure the breach, or pay overdue rent. It is preferable to come to a compromise outside of court if possible.
- Average Processing Time: Six (6) Weeks to Six (6) Months5,6
- Filing Fee: Varies by Court7
- Where To File: File with the court local to the property in question. You can file online here: Landlord Nonpayment Eviction Petition & Written Rent Demand Program (NY State), Small Property Owner Nonpayment Petition Program (NYC).
If the tenant does not respond to the notice, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings by filing a Petition with the local City, Village or Town Court, or the Housing Court if the property is in New York City. Most documents will need to be notarized first.
Once the petition has been filed the court will set a hearing date. It is the landlord’s responsibility to arrange for the filing documents to be served on the tenant by a process server or any person that is at least eighteen years of age. New York State allows for personal delivery (documents are handed directly to the tenant), substituted delivery (documents are left with another adult who lives or works at the rental unit), and conspicuous delivery (documents are left in a conspicuous place on the unit as well as mailed to the tenant at the unit address).8,9 The documents must be served at least ten (10) but no more than seventeen (17) days prior to the hearing.5 The landlord then must file an Affidavit of Service to prove the documents were served.
The landlord and tenant appear in court on the hearing date. It is important to bring copies of all documents that have been filed with the court to the hearing, including a copy of the original eviction notice.
- The landlord did not file the eviction papers properly, or included false or incorrect information
- The tenant tried to pay rent but the landlord refused to accept it
- The landlord neglected necessary repairs and maintenance to the rental property
- The property is overseen by HUD or Housing Authority Section 8 and the landlord did not notify those authorities of the eviction proceedings10
There are a few other ways for a tenant to avoid eviction:
- If a tenant pays back all owed rent prior to the issuance of a “Warrant of Eviction”, they can stop the eviction process altogether.5
- In some instances, a judge gives the tenant a thirty (30) day stay to cure a breach of lease. The tenant must notify the court when the breach has been cured in order to cancel the warrant and avoid eviction.5
If the court hands down a judgment in favor of the landlord but the tenant refuses to vacate the property, the landlord must obtain a Judgment and Warrant for Eviction. These documents authorize the Sheriff to remove the tenant forcibly from the property.5
The landlord or Sheriff’s office is required to give the tenant fourteen (14) days’ notice of the forced eviction.11 Once that period has expired, if the tenant still has not vacated the property the Sheriff can forcibly remove them and their possessions.
Video: Evictions in New York
- § 711.2
- § 753.4
- § 232-a
- § 232-b
- § 749(a)