In New York, landlords may remove renters who pay their rent late.

Failure to pay rent is the most prevalent reason landlords remove renters. In New York, a landlord may initiate eviction proceedings as soon as a tenant fails to pay rent on time.

Please bear in mind that eviction rules in New York differ based on whether the rental property is situated inside New York City and whether the property is subject to a state or municipal rent control. This page will give basic information on evicting a renter who fails to pay rent in New York. Please review the resources listed below or contact an attorney for further information.

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When Is Rent Due in New York?

Rent is usually always due on the first of the month, even whether it is a weekend or holiday. It is important to note that the landlord and tenant might agree on various conditions, but such terms must be in writing and included in the lease. Both the landlord and the tenant are expected to obey the conditions of the lease. For example, the landlord might agree to provide the tenant a grace period, which means that the landlord would not charge the tenant a late fee or initiate eviction proceedings for a certain number of days after rent is due. The renter would then have that time to pay rent without incurring any penalties.

Rent is in high demand.

Landlords who do not receive rent payment within five days of the due date must issue a written notification to the renter (by certified mail) explaining that they have not received the rent. If a landlord fails to deliver this written notice, the tenant may utilize it as a defense in an eviction proceeding for nonpayment of rent. (New York Real Property Law 235-e(d).)

To commence the eviction procedure, the landlord must issue a formal demand to the tenant to either pay the rent in full or vacate the rented property within 14 days. If the tenant does not vacate the rental unit or pay the rent within that time frame, the landlord may file an eviction action in court. 711(2) of the New York Real Property Act.)

Calendar days are used to determine the notice period. N.Y. General Constr. Law 20.)

The rent demand must be written and contain the following information:

date the notice was served on the tenant(s) tenant’s name(s) and address (s)
the reason for the notification (that the tenant failed to pay rent for a specified period of time)
entire amount of past-due rent, as well as where and to whom the rent should be paid
a declaration that the tenant has 14 days to pay the rent or vacate the rental unit (the notice should indicate the precise date by which this must occur), or the landlord will initiate eviction procedures, and a certificate of service indicating how the notice was served on the tenant.

Serving a Rental Demand in New York

When issuing a rent demand to a tenant, the landlord has two alternatives.

The landlord or a landlord’s representative may physically deliver the demand to the renter or an adult resident in the rented unit.
If the tenant cannot be found at the rental unit, the landlord or landlord’s agent may post a copy of the demand in a conspicuous location at the rental unit (such as taped to the front door) and mail a copy of the demand to the tenant’s last known address within one day of posting a copy of the demand (usually the rental unit).

711, 735 of the New York Real Property Act.)

Tenant Reactions to a Rent Demand

After receiving a rent demand, a tenant may reply in a number of ways.

During the 14-day period, the renter may pay rent. If the tenant pays the rent, the landlord is not required to continue with the eviction.
The renter is free to leave the leased unit. If the tenant does not pay rent after moving out, the landlord may still sue for unpaid rent.
If the tenant fails to pay the rent or vacate the rented property within 14 days, the landlord may file an eviction case in court.

Taking an Eviction Lawsuit to Court

To initiate an eviction action for nonpayment of rent, the landlord must submit a petition with the district court or housing court in the county where the rented unit is situated. The court will set a date for a hearing before a judge and notify the renter of the proceedings. At the hearing, the judge will hear from both the landlord and the tenant before making an eviction decision. If the landlord is successful, the court will issue a non-payment warrant, giving the sheriff the right to remove the tenant and his or her belongings from the rented property. However, if the tenant gives the landlord the outstanding rent at any point before the eviction hearing, the landlord must accept the offer or the eviction action will be dismissed.

The Small Property Owner Nonpayment Petition Program in the New York court system will assist small rental property owners who are not represented by legal counsel in drafting the documentation required to evict a tenant. For landlords who reside in New York City, there is a distinct scheme.

Unlawful Eviction

The only method for a landlord to properly remove a tenant is to win an eviction case in court. It is unlawful for a landlord to try to evict a tenant from a rental property by changing the locks on the doors or turning off the utilities to the rental unit. This is known as a “self-help” eviction, and if the landlord tries it, the tenant may sue the landlord for damages. (New York Real Property Law 235 and New York Real Property Acts. Law 853.)
Additional New York Resources for Landlord-Tenant Relationships

There are several tools for landlord-tenant interactions across the state of New York, including the New York State Homes and Community Renewal website. The online self-help center of the New York court system is also quite useful. The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island housing courts have also released a brochure containing information about landlord-tenant interactions and the housing court.

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