Eviction Isn’t Easy:
Navigating the Termination of Lease and Eviction Process
Evicting a tenant usually isn’t on your everyday “to-do” list. Unfortunately, while renting out space to another individual, conflicts may arise. According to landlordology.com, the top five common reasons for eviction are:
- Nonpayment of rent;
- Lease violation(s);
- Property damage;
- Illegal or drug-related activity; and
- Expiration of a lease.
In New York, there is a process that each landlord must follow in order to evict a tenant. If the basis for the eviction is non-payment of rent, you must send a rent demand before commencing the eviction action. If the basis for the eviction is for a lease violation or lease expiration, you must send a Termination Notice. In New York, the notices are typically a written notice given to the tenant prior to evicting them. With this, it is also important (and mandated) to provide the basis for the eviction. Any cause stated above is sufficient to address on the termination of tenancy document.
Once the tenant is notified of a possible eviction, they have two options:
- Comply with the written demands as stated in the document; or
- Ignore the written demands as stated in the document.
If a tenant has not paid their rent, the landlord can issue a Rent Demand giving the tenant a specified amount of time (based upon the lease or the N.Y.S. RPAPL) to either pay the missed rent or relocate to another location. If the tenant chooses to ignore this written statement, then the landlord reserves the right to file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant, but only after the time allocated in the Rent Demand has passed.
If a tenant is violating other lease terms and agreements, then the landlord may need to produce two different documents in written form to the tenant. The first document that may be required is a Notice to Cure. This document is sent to the tenant if the tenant violated a lease term. It gives the tenant a specific amount of time to correct the issue. If the tenant corrects the issue within the allotted time specified, then the landlord cannot take any further action against the tenant. If the tenant ignores this notice, then the landlord must produce a Notice of Termination. This document states that the tenant failed to correct any issues within the allotted period and now has 30 days to completely move out of the rental space. If the tenant chooses to ignore this document as well, then the landlord reserves the right to file an eviction lawsuit in court.
If there is some sort of conflict between the landlord and the tenant, there is a greater likelihood of the tenant ignoring the written termination of tenancy. If this does happen, one must move onto the next step in the eviction process: the eviction lawsuit. New York State laws and regulations, prohibit a landlord from removing or evicting a tenant unless that removal is ordered by a court.
If you need to evict a tenant, it is best to contact a skilled landlord-tenant attorney to assist with the termination of a lease and/or eviction process. The skilled New York City landlord-tenant attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. are the perfect solution. Please contact us online, toll-free (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744 to discuss your situation and the possible options for you.