Even if a tenant is seriously delinquent in paying rent or has otherwise violated the terms of a tenancy, a landlord must be careful and follow the proper procedure in evicting that tenant. In particular, a Bronx landlord eviction lawyer cautions against so-called “self-help” remedies that can expose the landlord to penalties.
Reasons for Eviction
There are two main grounds for eviction in New York where a Landlord-Tenant relationship exists: Non-payment of rent, and a Holdover action.
A Holdover action may involve such issues as a tenant remaining in the property past the lease term or if the tenant has violated a substantial provision of the lease, such as conducting illegal activities on the property, sublet without written permission, harboring an animal in violation of the lease or committing a nuisance.
Before filing a Court action, Landlords must give a delinquent Tenant time to pay. A written demand must be given to the tenant at least three days before a Court Petition for Eviction can be filed. Additional time is necessary to allow the process server and/or the mail to be delivered. Typically we make the due date 12 days from the date the Landlord signs the forms. This eliminates any chance of the case being dismissed on a service related technicality in NYC Court.
In these cases, the Tenant must be given a Notice of Termination, which allows one full rental term, typically 30 days, to vacate the premises.
If the tenant has not paid the past-due rent or vacated the property within the applicable time frame, the Landlord may then file a Petition in Civil Court of the City of New York Housing Part. In a Holdover the Landlord’s attorney can pick a date for the Court to hear the case while the Clerk of the Court assigns a random Judge and time scheduled for the court to hear the case for the first time. In a Nonpayment case the date is assigned when the Tenant files an answer with the Court.
The Landlord may not serve the Tenant; there are three ways a tenant can be legally served and only licensed process servers can be used to do this, which include:
- Personal delivery
• Substituted service
• Conspicuous notice service
The Court Date
If the Tenant does not show up on a Holdover case, the Court will assign a date for an Inquest. An Inquest is a one sided trial. In Non Payment cases, if the Tenant fails to show up for the Court date after filing the answer a default judgment will be taken. Ultimately, a Landlord may obtain a Warrant of Eviction, but this Warrant can only be served by a City Marshall or other law enforcement official. In Bronx County, it takes approximately one month for a Warrant to issue to the City Marshal.
Contact a Bronx Landlord Eviction Attorney for Legal Advice
If every procedure is not fully complied with, the Court will dismiss the case and the process may have to begin all over. A landlord must be careful and use the services of an experienced Landlord Tenant attorney to protect their interests. Call Evan Rogers at 718-994-1640 for a free consultation to find out more about this process.