A Step-by-Step Guide to the Eviction Process in New York

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant in New York, you need to know the proper eviction process and your rights should they be violated. Please note that eviction laws may vary depending on where the property is located within the state. Should you have any questions about New York City eviction laws, contact us.

Note: Landlords are never allowed to “lockout” or evict tenants themselves without a court order. Lockout or eviction actions can include subtle actions like illegally raising the rent, blocking a reserved parking space, etc. If a landlord wants to remove a tenant before their lease is up, they will need to have cause. If a landlord is found in violation of the eviction laws, they may have to pay up to three times the damage they caused the tenant in the first place, so it is absolutely essential that landlords go through the correct eviction process.

STEP 1: Landlord Must Give Notice to the Tenant

  • Landlord must provide a 3-Day Notice to the tenant. If the tenant has not paid the rent by the due date, the landlord must give a 3-Day Notice to the tenant to either pay the rent or move out of the property. By the end of the three days, if the tenant still has not paid, the landlord can start an eviction case in court with a “Petition for Eviction.”

  • For reasons other than nonpayment of rent, like a violation of the lease agreement, the landlord must give the tenant a Notice to Cure. The tenant has 10 days to fix or correct the violation. If the tenant fixes the violation, the landlord cannot take any other action against them. If the tenant does not fix the violation, the landlord has the right to serve them a Notice of Termination.

  • A Notice of Termination lets the tenant know that the lease violation was not fixed, and as a result, they then have 30 days to move out of the property.

STEP 2: Landlord Must File and Serve a Petition and Notice of Petition

  • The Petition must be filed within the civil court in the jurisdiction where the property is located. We can help landlords with this aspect.

  • The landlord has to officially “serve” the Petition and the Notice to the tenant. This means serving the tenant in person, or another person who lives in the unit who is of suitable age and discretion, or by posting the documents on the door or somewhere obvious.

  • The server of the documents must sign a document with a notary public that confirms how they served the Petition and the Notice.

STEP 3: Court Proceedings

  • The landlord must prove to the Housing court that the tenant didn’t pay the rent or violated their lease agreement and did not fix the violation. The landlord is responsible for proving their eviction case.

  • The tenant may also then show evidence of of their defense against the landlord’s eviction claim.

  • If the tenant does not show up to the proceeding or the judge rules in the landlord’s favor, the judge will declare judgment in favor of the landlord and give the tenant 5 days to vacate the property or unit.

STEP 4: Tenant Still Does Not Pay Rent or Fix Violation

  • If within those court-ordered 5 days, the tenant does not pay the rent or fix the violation, the landlord must obtain a Warrant of Eviction. The City Marshal will serve the tenant with a Marshal's Notice (see Step 2 for proper service methods), which allows law enforcement to remove the tenant forcibly if they do not vacate the premises within 72 hours.

  • An eviction CANNOT occur during a legal holiday or a weekend.

Contact Us

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, there is simply no time to waste if you are facing a possible eviction. Contact seasoned New York landlord-tenant attorney Richard Roman Shum to schedule an appointment. Free consultations and case assessments are available, but only through appointment, so please contact us as soon as possible or call (646) 259-3416. We look forward to helping you!

Richard Shum