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Have Your Lease if You Deal with the Police

Some disputes between landlords and tenants escalate to calling the police. Cops are supposed to stop landlords from breaking the law and illegally evicting tenants. Unfortunately, some officers can be biased and willing to support the landlord in throwing you out of your apartment, even without court process. However, if you can show your lease or other evidence the apartment is your home to the officer, then sections 117-11 and 214-12 of the New York Police Department Patrol Guide require the police to assist illegally evicted tenants. Keep a copy of your lease with a trusted friend or family member, or have it available digitally or from another easily accessible source in case of an eviction emergency. If you don't have a written lease, be able to show utility accounts at the apartment in your name and keep official mail that comes to you at the address. If you don't get police cooperation, usually your safest option is to go to Housing Court immediately for an order to show cause to regain possession.

Attention New York City Tenants: Get more information on Landlord Tenant matters at the McAdams Law main site here.

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