Jordan Schiller, Esq., a New York City Landlord/Tenant attorney and Of Counsel to our firm answers some of your questions below:
A common question Landlords In New York ask when seeking to evict a Tenant is “how long will the court process take?”:
Depending on the type of tenancy, the answer in New York varies. If the apartment is not rent-stabilized and there is no current lease, then the issue is straightforward and the tenant will not have many viable defenses to a holdover eviction proceeding. After a 30 day notice and Notice of Petition and Petition have been properly served on the tenant, a court date is set. A tenant is usually entitled to one free adjournment before coming back to court and either agreeing with the Landlord to vacate the New York premises by a date certain or going forward with a trial and having a housing court Judge decide how much time to award the tenant to vacate. A Judge has the power to award a Tenant up to six months to stay in the apartment, from the date of the commencement of the proceeding. However, the amount of time depends on the specific circumstances of the situation (i.e. are there kids involved?; is the tenant elderly?; how long was the tenancy?; basis for the eviction?)
Evictions pertaining to a rent-stabilized apartment are more complex and a tenant will naturally have more viable defenses. Due to the various protections afforded a rent-stabilized tenant and the technicality of this particular area of law, a lawyer who specializes in housing law is essential (WINK). Landlords of rent-stabilized apartments will either seek an eviction through a non-payment proceeding or a holdover proceeding. The former is self-explanatory; the tenant has failed to pay their rent and the landlord is seeking their money and possession of the apartment should the tenant be unable to pay. A holdover proceeding for a rent-stabilized apartment may only be based on specific allegations, pursuant to the rent-stabilization code. Typically, a landlord may seek to recover an apartment based on owner occupancy, or allegations that the tenant of record is not using the apartment as their primary residence. As mentioned earlier, a lawyer who specializes in housing law is an essential ingredient to a successful outcome for any landlord.