Getting Evicted from your Brooklyn Apartment: A Landlord/Tenant guide

Our returning Brooklyn Landlord Tenant Attorney, Jordan Schiller, Esq. provides a ton of insightful advice to us and our clients.  Thats why he’s our Of Counsel.  Here’s his most recent piece:


What do you when you receive court papers taped to your door saying that your Brooklyn Landlord will not be renewing your rent-stabilized lease because he wants his family member to live there?  Well, that doesn’t seem right now, does it?  You’ve been living at this affordable NYC apartment for over 10 years with your wife and kids and now, you are faced with a harsh, expensive NYC rental market for a growing family.  It’s time to consult a landlord/tenant lawyer in Brooklyn.


First thing to check is, can this case be thrown out?  Your Brooklyn Landlord/tenant lawyer will review every word on the court papers, all dates, all names, all stamps, all mailings, etc.  Did the Landlord name everyone in the household over the age of 18 on the court papers?  Did he know/should’ve known their names?  Did the Landlord know they were living there?


The most important document that a Landlord must have served on the Tenant(s) is the Notice of Non-Renewal.  This Notice advises the Tenant(s) about the Landlord’s intentions not to renew the leasehold and must contain the basics; who Landlord intends to have living in the apartment, why this apartment and that the apartment will be used as a primary residence for the family member intended to be moving in.


In rent-stabilization, a family member (as defined in the Rent Stabilization Code) living with the Tenant of record acquires independent possessory rights to the apartment if they live with the Tenant of record on a full-time basis for two consecutive years prior to the tenant of record vacating.  Now, although the tenant of record is not vacating in this particular circumstance, he is at risk of being evicted by the Landlord in order to make room for the Landlord’s family member.  However, if the Tenant’s family members, over the age of 18, have acquired their own possessory rights to the apartment, they must be named as a party or the action can be dismissed on motion.  Prior case law has upheld this principle.


Moral of the story:  If you are a Brooklyn Landlord, consult a Landlord/Tenant lawyer prior to commencing an owner’s use holdover proceeding.  If you are a Tenant, consult a Landlord/Tenant lawyer to protect your rights and prolong your tenancy.