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New York StateUnified Court System

Roommate Holdover
Termination Notices

In General
When Not Required
Free DIY Program
Choosing the Termination Date
Service
Taking Rent
Starting a Holdover Case

In General

Before you can start a court case to make your roommate leave, you may need to give (serve) your roommate a “Notice of Termination.”

A “Notice of Termination” is a paper sent to your roommate with details about your decision to make your roommate move (terminate the tenancy). The notice must tell your roommate the date that he or she must leave the apartment or house that you share.

If the rental agreement is oral (just speaking) you have to serve (give) your roommate a Notice of Termination before you can start a roommate holdover case.

If the rental agreement is in writing and the lease term has not ended, you can’t start a roommate holdover case until the lease term ends. back to top


When Not Required

You do not have to serve (give) your roommate a Notice of Termination if:
1. you and your roommate have an agreement in writing (a lease), and
2. the lease term has ended, and
3. you have not taken any rent money from your roommate since the date the lease ended.

If all of the above is true, you can start a roommate holdover case. back to top


Free DIY Program

The New York State Access to Justice Program has a free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) computer program to help you make your Notice of Termination. Or you can buy a Notice of Termination form at a legal stationary store, like Blumberg. back to top


Choosing the Termination Date

You must choose a “termination date” in the Notice of Termination before you can give (serve) it to your roommate. The termination date is the date that you are ending the tenancy. If the termination date is not correct the judge can dismiss the proceeding and you will have to start all over again.

Here is how to choose the right date:

Choose a termination date that is the last day of a rental period. For example:

If your roommate pays rent on the 15th of every month then the termination date must be on the 14th of the month, the last day of the monthly rental period.

If your roommate pays rent every Monday then the termination date must be on a Sunday, the last day of the weekly rental period.

Choose a termination date that gives your roommate the same number of days to leave as the number of days in the rental period. For example:

If your roommate pays rent once a month choose a date that gives at least 30 days notice to leave.

Extra time is OK. A short time is not OK.

Choose a termination date far enough away for your server (the person delivering the Notice of Termination) to have enough time to complete the delivery. If personal delivery is made, service is complete when the server gives the Notice of Termination to your roommate. If delivery is not made by hand and the papers have to be mailed, service is not complete until the mailing. For example:

If the rent is paid monthly on the 1st day of the month and the Notice of Termination is taped to the door of the home you share on August 31st, but is not mailed until September 1st, then the service is too late. That does not give enough notice because service is not complete until the papers are put in the mail. Your roommate will not have at least 30 days notice to leave.

If the rent is paid on Wednesdays, and the Notice of Termination is taped to the door of the home you share on Tuesday, but is not mailed until Wednesday, then the service is too late to give enough notice because service is not complete until the papers are put in the mail. Your roommate will not have at least 7 days notice to leave. back to top


Service

If the Notice of Termination is not delivered the way the law says it should be, the judge can dismiss the proceeding and you will have to start all over again.

If you are starting the case against more than one person, each person much be must be served with their own copy of the Notice of Termination.

The rules for giving (serving) the Notice of Termination are the same as the rules for serving a Notice of Petition and Petition. Go to Service to learn more. back to top


Taking Rent

Do not accept rent after the termination date! If you take rent after the date you end the tenancy, you will have to start all over again and serve a new Notice of Termination. back to top


Starting a Holdover Case

After you terminate your roommate’s tenancy by serving the Notice of Termination, read about Starting a Roommate Holdover case to learn what to do next. You must keep the original Notice of Termination and notarized Affidavit of Service because you will need it to start your court case.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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