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Starting a Roommate Holdover Case

In General
The Notice of Termination
Starting the Case
Going to Court


In General

A roommate holdover case is brought to make a roommate leave the apartment or house that you share. You cannot lock your roommate out of the home you share without a court order.

If you are a renter, to start a roommate holdover case, your roommate must rent from you not the landlord. If your roommate is named on the lease and also rents from the landlord or owner, then you can’t start a case in Housing Court. Your roommate is a co-tenant and has the same right to stay in the home as you do. If the police charge your roommate with a crime, like assault or harassment, you may be able to get a Order of Protection from Criminal Court.

To start a roommate case, your roommate must be someone who is supposed to pay you rent to live with you. If your roommate is someone you let live in your home without paying rent, then you can start a “licensee” holdover case, not a roommate holdover. You can visit a Help Center to learn more.

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The Notice of Termination

Before you can start a court case to make your roommate leave, you may need to give (serve) your roommate a Notice of Termination. Read the information section on Roommate Holdover Termination Notices before continuing below.

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Starting the Case

To start a case to make your roommate move out of the home or apartment that you share, you need to fill out a Notice of Petition and a Petition. Use the free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) roommate holdover computer program provided by the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program to make your court papers. The DIY program will help you make your court forms and give you instructions on what to do next.

Once you have used the DIY program, bring your notarized original papers (including the Notice of Termination), your DIY User Survey (if applicable) and your copies to the cashier’s window in the Landlord-Tenant Clerk’s office to buy an index number. Payment may be made by cash, certified check or money order. Make the money order or certified check payable to the "Clerk of the Civil Court." Go to Locations to find out where to go in your county. Go to Court Fees to find out the cost of filing the Notice of Petition.

You must choose the court date on the Notice of Petition. The court date must be between 5 and 12 days after delivery (“service”) of the court papers is “completed.” When service is completed depends on how the papers are delivered. Ask the Clerk or go to the Help Center if you do not understand.

A Landlord/Tenant clerk will give you the courtroom number and the assigned time for you to fill out on the papers. The clerk will give you back the Notice of Petition with the index number stamped onto it and the date of the hearing. The Clerk will keep the Petition.

When the Clerk returns the Notice of Petition to you, arrange your copies into three sets for your roommate (and your roommate’s roommate, if applicable). The Notice of Petition should be on top, then the Petition with the Notice of Termination and Affidavit of Service of the Notice of Termination for your roommate (and your roommate’s roommate, if applicable). Fill in the court date, the courtroom Part, the courtroom number and the time listed on your original Notice of Petition on all of the copies of the Notice of Petition. Fill in the Index No.(Number) on the copies of the Notice of Petition and Petition. In the signature space put /S/ and copy the name of the Clerk of the Court. Keep the original Notice of Petition separate from the copies. Now you are ready to have your server deliver the papers to the your roommate.

You must make sure your roommate receives a copy of the Notice of Petition and the Petition in the manner required by law. The copies of the Petition and Notice of Petition must be served not less than five calendar days and not more than twelve calendar days from the court date. Go to Service of the Notice of Petition and Petition to learn more.

After service of the Notice of Petition and Petition, and the mailings (if necessary) are done, you must bring back the original Notice of Petition and the original Affidavit of service to the Court. Bring stamps for postcards with you. When you return the papers to the court ask the Clerk for a postcard. You must fill it out and put a stamp on it so the Clerk can mail the postcard to your roommate (and roommate’s roommate, if applicable). Your roommate will have to answer the Petition in Court.

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Going to Court

You must go to the courtroom on the court date. Go to Directions if you do not know how to get to the courthouse. Get there early, because you will need to go through a metal detector before you can go into the courthouse. Bring all the evidence you have to prove your case. The first courtroom you go to is called a "Resolution Part." To learn more about what happens there, go to Resolution Part, or you may watch a Video about the Resolution Part. If you have questions, you can visit a Help Center in any Civil Court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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