As a renter in New York State, you are afforded many protections. Even aside from the COVID-19 protections that were put in place, there are protections to cover your deposit, rent hikes, and evictions. For instance, the
“Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019” provides,

important protections for renters across the State, like how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit on new leases. For families living in rent-controlled or rentstabilized apartments, the laws affect how much a landlord can increase your rent. Especially important are the changes for those with preferential rents, and for those living in a manufactured home park.

One of the major protections that New York State offers tenants is regarding evictions. A landlord can't just kick you out of your rental unit because they don't like you or the way you look. They have to have legal grounds to evict you and go to court to support the reason they want you gone.

If you are a renter in New York State, here's what you need to know about the eviction process:

14 Day Notice To Pay

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Photo by Bethany Reeves on Unsplash
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If your rent is late, your landlord must provide a 14-day written notice, according to Nolo.com,

This notice will inform the tenant that the tenant has fourteen days to either pay rent in full or move out of the rental unit. If the tenant does not pay the rent or move out of the rental unit, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit with the court at the end of the fourteen days.

Notice To Cure And Notice Of Termination

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Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash
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If a tenant is violating any part of his or her lease, they must be given written 'notice to cure,' which states that they have 10 days to stop the lease violation before a landlord can begin the eviction process. According to Nolo.com,

The landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination after the landlord has already given the tenant a notice to cure and the tenant has not complied with it. The notice of termination will then inform the tenant that the tenancy has been terminated because the tenant failed to correct the lease violation, and the tenant has 30 days to move out of the rental unit. If the tenant does not move out of the rental unit, then the landlord can begin eviction proceedings against the tenant through the court system.

Eviction Without Cause

Eviction Laws And Renter Protections In New York State
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In New York, a landlord can't evict a tenant without cause. If there is no cause that stands up in court, the landlord will have to wait until the end of the lease for the renter to move out.

Extended Time To Find A New Rental

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Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash
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According to the New York “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019,”

If you lose a housing case and the judge orders your eviction, you can ask the court for up to one year to move if you can show that you cannot find a similar apartment in the same neighborhood. The judge will take into account your health conditions, whether you have children enrolled in school, the hardship on the landlord if you remain, and any other life circumstances that could affect your ability to move.

Written Notice Of Rent Non-Payment

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Before your landlord can take you to court for non-payment of rent, they must give you a 14 day written 'rent demand.'

Payment In Full

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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If you pay the full of rent owed prior to the sheriff or marshals showing up to execute the eviction, you can have your non=payment case dismissed.

Late Fees, Legal Fees, And Other Fees

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According to the New York “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection,"

In a non-payment case, you can only be evicted for not paying your rent. You cannot be evicted for non-payment of other fees (such as late fees, legal fees, or any other “added” fee).

Use Of Threats, Force, Or "Self Help" To Evict

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Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash
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According to New York State law, a landlord cannot use force or threats to evict a person who has legally been occupying a rental property for 30 consecutive days or has a lease. A landlord also cannot change locks, remove a person's property, disrupt essential services, disturb a tenant's peace, or use other such measures to evict a tenant.

Marijuana Use

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While a landlord can't refuse to rent a property to a tenant who uses cannabis, the use of marijuana or home cultivation may be prohibited on the property. If it is specified in your lease, your landlord may start eviction proceedings against you for violating the clause.

Tenant Protections

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Even if a landlord believes he or she has cause to evict a tenant, the renter can fight the eviction. For instance, a renter might withhold rent because of a landlord's failure to maintain fit and habitable conditions. Or a tenant might believe they are being evicted based on discrimination.

Removal Of Tenant And Property

Alameda County Sheriff Handles Surging Number Of Evictions
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Even if a landlord has received a court order for an eviction, they cannot remove the tenant or their property. Only a sheriff or a marshal may execute the eviction.

Eviction Legal Assistance

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If you are facing an eviction and need legal help, you can find a free attorney at LawHelpNY.org.

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