New York Court Help


Use the scroll bar to search the information below.

Housing (Landlord-Tenant)


Q. What is a "notice of eviction"?

A. A notice of eviction is a written notice from a marshal or sheriff warning a tenant that he or she has to move out.


Q. What can a landlord do if the tenant has stopped paying rent?

A. If a tenant has stopped paying rent a landlord can start a nonpayment case. First, the landlord must make a rent demand. If the tenant doesn't pay, the landlord can start a case in court. Small landlords can use the free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to make a written rent demand or the papers needed to start a nonpayment case. For landlords in New York City, for landlords outside New York City.

 return to top

Q. What can a landlord do if there is a person living in the premises who was invited to stay by the former tenant before the tenant moved out?

A. If there is someone living in the premises who started living there with the tenant's permission before the tenant moved out, that person is a licensee. A landlord can start a licensee holdover case. First, the landlord must serve the licensee with a notice to quit. If the licensee doesn't move out, the landlord can start a case in court. Small landlords can use the free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to make a written notice to quit or the papers needed to start a licensee holdover. For landlords in New York City, for landlords outside New York City.

 return to top

Q. What can a landlord do if there are people living in the premises who moved in without permission from the landlord or anyone else?

A. If there are people living in the premises who moved in without the landlord's permission or without permission from anyone else, these people are squatters. A landlord can start a squatter holdover case to evict them. First, the landlord must serve each squatter with a ten day Notice to Quit. If the squatters don't move out, the landlord can start a court case. Small property owners outside New York City can use the free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to make a Notice to Quit or the court papers needed to start a case.


Q. I received eviction papers called a "Notice of Petition" and a "Petition" saying that I didn't pay my rent. What should I do?

A. In New York City, go to the Clerk's Office of the court named in the papers within 5 days of receiving them to Answer the Petition. You can use the free Tenant Answer DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to learn what to say in your Answer. Outside New York City, go to court on the date listed on the papers. Read Tenant Questions & Answers: Nonpayment Eviction Cases in New York State.

 return to top


Q. I received eviction papers called a "Notice of Petition" and a "Petition" saying a different reason than nonpayment of rent. What should I do?

A. The landlord starts a holdover case to evict a tenant or another person (also called an occupant) in your home. A holdover case is started for a different reason than nonpayment of rent. For example, a holdover case is started because your lease expired, or you are too noisy, or the tenant gave you the apartment without telling the landlord, or you put a wall up without permission. If you got a Notice of Petition and Petition, go to court on the date listed on the papers. Outside New York City, read: Tenant Questions & Answers: Holdover Eviction Cases in New York State. In New York City, read: New York City Tenants: Questions & Answers About Housing Court.

 return to top

Q. What happens if a tenant doesn't answer the legal papers or a landlord or tenant misses the court date?

A. If a tenant does not answer the court papers or misses a court date, the landlord could win a judgment which could make an eviction. To ask the court to stop the eviction and reopen the case you must have both a good reason for not going to court when you were supposed to, and a good reason or defense why the landlord should not win the case. You can use the free DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to make the court papers you need. For tenants in New York City, for tenants outside New York City. If a landlord misses a court date, the case could be thrown out.


 return to top

Q. What should a tenant bring to court?

A. A tenants should bring all money order receipts, canceled checks, or other receipts related to rent payment. A tenant should also bring a copy of the lease and lease renewal, if any, and records, including pictures and notes about problems with the apartment. Bring receipts for materials purchased to repair the apartment, if any.


 return to top

Q. What happens if I need a postponement (a later court date)?

A. Ask for an "adjournment," which is the same as a postponement. Sometimes both parties can agree to "adjourn" the case to another day and let the judge know that. When they do not agree, the person wanting the adjournment must ask the judge for one.


 return to top

Q. In an eviction case, what happens if a tenant and a landlord can't agree?

A. They will have a trial. The landlord will have to prove the case. If the landlord can't prove the case, it will be thrown out; if the landlord proves the case, the landlord will get a judgment against the tenant for the eviction.


 return to top

Q. What is an Order to Show Cause?
A. An Order to Show Cause is a written request to bring the case to a Judge for a reason or reasons in the Order to Show Cause papers. An Order to Show Cause must be signed by a judge and will state the date, time, and courtroom for the court hearing. In New York City you can use the free Tenant Affidavit to Restore Case to Calendar DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form program to make the court papers you need.


 return to top

Q. What is an inspection?

A. In a case where a tenant claims that items or conditions in an apartment need repair, an inspector (who is not in the case) can be sent to the tenant's apartment to look at the claim. A tenant may request an inspection when he or she first comes to the Clerk's Office or on the first court date.


 return to top

Q. What is an HP action?

A. This is a court case started by a tenant to have a landlord make repairs to an apartment. (The "H" is for "housing" and the "P" is for "part.") Usually, the cost to start an HP action is $45.00. If a tenant can't afford the filing fee, he or she can get forms from the Clerk for starting the action without paying the fee. A court can order an apartment inspection date and a date, time, and courtroom where the tenant and landlord must go.


 return to top

Q. Are there different rules for Mobile Home Parks?

A. Yes! A mobile home park is a stretch of land that has three or more mobile homes on it. In a nonpayment case, a mobile home park owner or operator must give a tenant a 30 day written Rent Demand and a 30 day Warrant of Eviction. In a holdover case, a mobile home park owner or operator must give a tenant who owns his or her mobile home a 90 day Warrant of Eviction. A manufactured home park owner must also offer every manufactured home park tenant the opportunity to sign a lease, for at least one year. For more information.


 return to top


 New York State Unified Court System
Court Facts
The Law
Forms
Lawyers