A reference of New York Eviction Laws, and steps of the New York eviction process for landlords and renters, updated 2021.

  • Do New York eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 
    • No. New York law prohibits self-help measures, including using or threatening the use of force to remove the tenant from the unit, engaging in behavior that interferes with or disturbs the comfort, peace, or quiet of the tenant, or removing the door, locks, or the tenant’s property from the rental unit. The landlord can be charged with a class A misdemeanor for taking such actions, as well as a civil penalty of between $1,000 and $10,000 for each violation of the law. (N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law §768).

New York Eviction Process: Step-by-Step

The eviction process in New York includes the following steps:

  1. The landlord serves the eviction notice. The landlord must serve the appropriate type of eviction notice on the tenant. The eviction notice must state the reason for eviction and the deadline for the tenant to cure the problem to avoid eviction, if applicable. If the eviction is due to non-payment of rent, the tenant has 14 days to pay the rent and avoid the eviction process in New York. If the eviction is for non-rent-related lease violation, the landlord must provide a notice to quit or cure, which gives the tenant 10 days to fix the problem.
  2. The landlord files an eviction lawsuit. If the tenant fails to pay the rent or take other action to cure their violation of the breach of the lease, the landlord can initiate the eviction process in New York. The landlord prepares the petition, which states the reason for the eviction and the legal grounds. The landlord also prepares a notice of petition that notifies the tenant that a case has been filed. New York provides an interactive program to help prepare these court forms. 

    The landlord files the documents with the district or housing court in the county where the rental property is located. The court clerk provides the landlord with a court date, time, and location for the hearing. This information is included on the notice of petition. The court date must be between 10 and 17 days from when the tenant is served with the documents.
  1. The landlord serves the legal documents. The landlord must legally serve the tenant with the legal documents. 
  2. The tenant answers. The tenant can provide a written answer to the petition to give their defense. 
  3. Parties attend the hearing. Each presents their side of the case. The landlord can ask for a default judgment if the tenant does not appear.
  4. Landlord request a warrant for eviction. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, it will provide a judgment to them. Then, the landlord can request a warrant for eviction. 
  5. The landlord arranges eviction. The landlord provides the warrant for eviction to the sheriff. The sheriff posts the notice on the rental, which advises the tenant they have 72 hours to vacate the property. After this point, the tenant can be physically removed from the property and the landlord can change the locks.

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