How Can You Be Illegally Evicted From Your Apartment?

In New York State, you cannot be legally evicted from your apartment without your landlord seeking permission from the court to do so. In order to get around this process, some landlords will engage in illegal practices to force tenants out of their apartments. But how exactly can you be illegally evicted from your apartment, and what should you do if that happens to you?

The Legal Eviction Process

Under normal circumstances, evicting a tenant is a complicated process, whether it is due to nonpayment of rent, having no lease, or some other lease violation. Not only must tenants be given appropriate notice of the intent to evict, a tenant has the right to contest the eviction in court.  Challenging an eviction may result in a tenant being able to stay in the apartment regardless of their landlord’s wishes. Naturally, this can frustrate landlords, who may spend months trying to remove a tenant from their apartment, potentially without success.

Circumventing the Eviction Process

As a result of these frustrations, some landlords will engage in questionable methods to illegally evicted a tenant without going through the full legal process. These efforts may include trying to force a tenant out regardless of what the law says. In some cases, a landlord’s conduct can escalate to the level of criminal conduct.

Methods of Illegal Eviction

There are many ways a landlord might try to force a tenant out illegally. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Refusing to perform necessary maintenance on the building;
  • Failing to repair or replace appliances like microwaves or refrigerators;
  • Failing to respond promptly to infestations of insects or rodents;
  • Intentionally shutting off utilities such as water, heat, or electricity;
  • Changing the locks when they know the tenant is out;
  • Barging into the apartment without warning, cause or permission;
  • Making excessive or harassing phone calls or messages;
  • Threatening violence, or engaging in violent or destructive behavior.

What You Should Do

If you are a tenant who has faced this kind of behavior from your landlord and they are trying to have you illegally removed, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling landlord-tenant cases. They can review your situation with you and help you explore your potential legal options. The sooner you get in contact, the sooner they can get to work for you.

If you are in a dispute with your landlord and want to know more about protecting yourself, do not wait until it is too late. You should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling landlord-tenant disputes, who can advise you on your rights and help you avoid the risk of eviction. Contact the skilled landlord-tenant attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C.  Contact us online, toll-free (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744 to discuss your rights and the solutions available to you.

Written by Tanya Hobson-Williams

Appointed to the bench by the Board of Trustees in 2008, and elected in 2009, Tanya Hobson-Williams was the first African-American Female Justice in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. Tanya Hobson–Williams obtained her B.A. in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Tanya Hobson-Williams has an active elder law practice assisting senior citizens in obtaining Medicaid for Home Care and Nursing Home Care. She routinely lectures at senior citizen centers, assisted living facilities, law schools and counsels families on a variety of topics of concerns to families caring for the elderly.

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Author: Tanya Hobson-Williams

Appointed to the bench by the Board of Trustees in 2008, and elected in 2009, Tanya Hobson-Williams was the first African-American Female Justice in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. Tanya Hobson–Williams obtained her B.A. in Government and Politics from St. John's University and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Tanya Hobson-Williams has an active elder law practice assisting senior citizens in obtaining Medicaid for Home Care and Nursing Home Care. She routinely lectures at senior citizen centers, assisted living facilities, law schools and counsels families on a variety of topics of concerns to families caring for the elderly.

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