There are many people in New York who rent apartments or other types of rental properties. When people begin to rent an apartment, they generally sign a lease agreement with the landlord. This agreement is a legally binding contract and the tenant is required to perform their obligations and the landlord is required to perform their obligations. If either one does not do this, there may be a landlord-tenant dispute and they may end up in housing court.

Probably the most common type of case is a non-payment of rent eviction matter. The most basic principle in any lease is that the tenant is required to pay rent to the landlord. If this does not occur, then the landlord will generally want a tenant in the apartment who will pay their rent as they are obligated to do. However, in order to get the existing tenant out of the apartment, the landlord will need to file an eviction in housing court. They cannot simply change the locks or remove the tenant on their own.

The first step that the landlord must take before evicting a tenant is that they must make a demand for the rent. This could be written or oral, depending on the terms in the lease. After this, they must give the tenant at least three days before serving them with eviction papers. Once the tenant is served with the eviction papers they must go to housing court and answer them within five days of service.

After this, there will be a hearing regarding the eviction. If a judge finds that the tenant owes rent, they generally will give them five days to pay in full before an eviction can occur. Even after the five days is up, the tenant still must be given an eviction notice before they need to vacate the premises.

There are many eviction matters in New York every year. However, just because a tenant is served with eviction papers it does not mean that they will automatically lose. They may have defenses for why they did not pay rent or they may be able to pay the rent in full before the eviction process concludes.

Source:, “A Tenant’s Guide to the New York City Housing Court,” accessed on Nov. 28, 2017

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