A lawyer for eviction near you can help you in successfully evicting a tenant. The modern practice nowadays is for New York courts to favor tenants. For this reason, strictly following the processes for eviction with a lawyer for eviction near you can ensure the successful eviction of a tenant.
What is an eviction?
An eviction is the procedure followed by landlords to remove a tenant through court processes. A landlord cannot take matters into his own hands to forcefully evict a tenant, such as cutting off the utilities or locking the tenant out of the apartment. This landlord action, called self-help eviction, is illegal and can subject the landlord to damages. The tenant can sue the landlord for forceful eviction, claiming three times the actual damages plus civil penalties from $1000 to $10000.
To successfully evict a tenant, you need to consult a lawyer for eviction near you who can guide you through the strict process of eviction. Depending on the ground and the complexities of the case, the period to evict and regain possession of the property can range from one month to one year.
Grounds for eviction
In New York, the grounds for eviction are:
- failure to pay rent on time
- violation of the lease agreement
- conducting illegal activities on the leased premises
- expiration of the lease period
The eviction process and defenses available to the tenant would depend on the ground for eviction.
Failure to pay rent on time
When the tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord must give notice to the tenant by certified mail that the rent has not yet been received five days after the rent is due. If the tenant still fails to pay, the landlord needs to send the 14-day notice to pay, which states that if the tenant fails to pay within 14 days from receipt of the notice, the landlord will commence summary proceedings for eviction.
The tenant can raise full payment of rent or the landlord’s failure to maintain the leased premises in a fit and habitable condition as defenses against eviction.
Violation of lease agreement
A violation of the lease agreement is a ground for eviction. Examples of lease violations could be damaging rental property, keeping pets, or smoking when the lease states no pets or smoking allowed on the leased premises. Here, the landlord issues a 10-day notice to comply. If the tenant fails to comply within the 10-day period, the landlord must issue a 30-day notice to quit. If the tenant refuses to vacate the premises after the 30-day period expires, the landlord can file an eviction suit.
To avoid eviction, the tenant can raise the defense that the violation has been cured or fixed within the time period.
Illegal activities in the leased premises
When a tenant conducts illegal activities in the leased premises, such as distributing drugs, no notice is required prior to filing an eviction lawsuit with the court. As a defense, the tenant can deny that it was using the leased premises for illegal purposes.
Expiration of lease
When the lease has expired and has not been renewed, the landlord must give the tenant a notice to vacate, the period to vacate depending on the duration the tenant occupied the property. If the tenant occupied the property for less than a year, the notice to vacate is 30 days. If the tenant occupied the property for 1 to 2 years, the notice to vacate is 60 days. More than 2-years of possession requires a 90-day notice to vacate.
For eviction due to non-payment, you can submit evidence such as your lease agreement, payments made, text or email messages, and bounced checks. For eviction due to violation of the lease agreement, you can present as evidence security camera footage, videos, pictures, and the provision in the lease agreement that was violated. An eviction lawyer near you can guide you in the documents to be gathered for the eviction lawsuit.
Once the required notices have been sent to the landlord, you can now file your eviction lawsuit. An eviction lawyer near you can prepare the complaint and summons, serve it upon the tenant, and file it with the court.
Once the eviction case is filed with the court, a hearing is scheduled around a week after the court receives the tenant’s answer. The tenant’s failure to respond to your complaint can result in the landlord winning the case. However, in a non-payment of rent eviction case, if the tenant pays in full before the hearing, the eviction case is dismissed.
During the hearing, if the landlord fails to appear, the eviction case is dismissed. If the tenant fails to appear, the landlord receives a favorable judgment by default.
If the landlord wins the case, the landlord can request a writ of execution. This writ of execution will allow the landlord to acquire possession of the leased premises. The writ of execution may be stayed for a period not longer than one year when:
- a child will be displaced from the school district
- the tenant has a serious health condition
- other analogous circumstances decided on a case to case basis
Even if a judgment has been granted, the tenant can still be given by the court a period to cure or remedy either the lease violation or non-payment of rent. If the tenant fails to remedy, the execution of the judgment can continue. The landlord is not allowed to enforce and execute the judgment. It is the court’s authorized official who can enforce and execute the judgment, directing the tenant to vacate the leased premises and restore possession to the landlord.
Evicting a tenant
Evicting a tenant requires strict observance of processes. Failure to observe these processes can result to the dismissal of your eviction lawsuit. For this reason, it is important to consult with a lawyer for eviction near you to guide you through the entire process of eviction from notice to the return of possession.
Should you need assistance, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.