In New York State, eviction of a tenant is lawful only if an owner has brought a court proceeding and obtained a judgment of possession from the court. A sheriff, marshal or constable can carry out a court ordered eviction. An owner may not evict a tenant by use of force or unlawful means. Any tenant who believes they are subject to eviction is advised to protect their interests by contacting an attorney in private practice or with a legal aid or legal services.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Must the owner apply to DHCR to evict a rent regulated tenant before proceeding to court?

Where a tenant fails to pay rent, is causing a nuisance, is damaging the apartment or building, or committing other wrongful acts, the owner may proceed directly to court after the service of the proper notices. Some special grounds, such as the owner seeking to demolish the building, do require that the owner first receive approval from DHCR. To obtain DHCR approval the owner should file form RA-54, Owner's Application for Order Granting Approval to Refuse Renewal of Lease and/or to Proceed for Eviction. For more information, see Fact Sheet #32.


2) May an owner evict a tenant from a rent regulated apartment for owner occupancy?

For rent stabilized apartments and rent controlled apartments both inside and outside of New York City, only one of the individual owners of a building can take possession of only one dwelling unit for personal or immediate family use and occupancy, even if the building has joint or multiple ownership. An owner must establish an immediate and compelling need for the apartment for use as his or her primary residence or as a primary residence for his or her immediate family. For more information, see Fact Sheet #10.


Fact Sheets


Operational Bulletin

Policy Statement