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Help for You and Your Dependents, If You're in the Military (and Even If You're Not)

If you are serving in the military, you and your dependents have special tenant rights under New York State's laws. These safeguards protect those who are on active duty and may not be able to appear on their own behalf.

If a dispute arises, notify the Court and let your landlord know that you are in the service, or are dependent on someone who is. The court can appoint an attorney to represent you, and delay the case for up to three months if your service has interfered with your financial capacity to cover the rent. Even if the landlord has a default judgment and warrant of eviction, you can reopen it on that basis.

If you have orders for active duty or changing stations, you can cancel your lease before it ends. You'll need to show documents substantiating all of this.

Also, if you've missed a court date or haven't responded to papers, a landlord cannot evict you without have a non-military affidavit, to prove you're not actively serving. Lack of a non-military affidavit can sometimes even protect those who aren't military personnel. It's a technicality your lawyer may be able to use to your advantage.

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