In New York State, an 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. Tenants who are at risk of eviction may protect their interests by contacting an attorney in private practice or with a legal aid or legal services.
For a detailed explanation of eviction, eviction based on owner occupancy, and more, see the Fact Sheet section. For an application to refuse to renew a lease and, or proceed to eviction, or the form to alter or demolish occupied rent controlled housing accommodations, see the Forms section. For information about the procedures for refusing to renew a lease on the grounds of demolition, see the Operational Bulletin section.
The Office of Civil Justice at the NYC Human Resources Administration funds free Anti-Eviction Legal Services in the housing courts and community offices across New York City for low-income tenants facing eviction. For information, email [email protected] or call 311.
Covid-19 Eviction Protections for Tenants
• For the Office of Court Administration guidance on moratorium expiration and eviction protections, visit https://nycourts.gov/
• The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/), administered by OTDA, provides eviction protections; all renters who have submitted a completed application for arrears accrued after March 2020 are protected from eviction while it is under review, and those with approved applications are protected from eviction from an expired lease for a full year, provided they continue to pay rent. For more information visit: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/faq.asp#faq-tenant
• On January 27th, Governor Hochul requested $1.6 billion in additional federal Emergency Rental Assistance.
o Governor Hochul has prioritized supporting tenants and landlords who were hit hard by the pandemic. In addition to spearheading major changes to ERAP, Governor Hochul has made $100 million in state-funded rent supplements available for localities, committed $125 million to households previously ineligible for ERAP based on income, signed a long overdue increase in rental voucher amounts into law, and authorized $125 million to help landlords with tenants who have declined to participate in ERAP or vacated with arrears.
• The Governor’s FY 2023 Budget includes $35 million for legal services and representation for eviction cases outside of New York City, building on $25 million in legal assistance that was announced late last year.
• The Tenant Safe Harbor Act, Chapter 127 of 2020, protects tenants from eviction for failing to pay their rent that came due during the covered period from March 7, 2020 through January 15, 2022, if they suffered a financial hardship due to COVID-19. To receive these protections, tenants must raise financial hardship as a defense and affirm in court that they suffered from financial hardship. If the court finds that the tenant had a financial hardship due to COVID-19, the landlord will not be allowed to evict for the rent that was owed due to a tenant's hardship. The court can issue a money judgment against the tenant for the rent owed and other types of eviction cases may proceed.
• Funding is available to provide legal services or attorney’s fees for eligible tenants facing eviction proceedings. Information on free legal services is available here: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/legal-providers/
• If a rent regulated tenant believes they are being harassed or overcharged, they should contact the Office of Rent Administration at (833) 499-0343 or the Tenant Protection Unit at [email protected]. Tenants may also visit NYS Rent Connect at https://rent.hcr.ny.gov/RentConnect/Welcome for further information regarding their rights and file complaints online with the Office of Rent Administration.
• In New York State, an eviction of a tenant is lawful only if an owner has brought a court proceeding and obtained a judgment of possession from the court.
o 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.
o Any tenant who believes they are about to be evicted is advised to contact an attorney in private practice or with a legal aid or legal services agency, to protect their interests.
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, her, or their primary residence or as a primary residence for his, her, or their immediate family. For more information, see Fact Sheet #10.
3) Does DHCR have to be served with a copy of a Notice of Eviction for an apartment subject to rent control before the owner can proceed to court?
Except where the reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent, the building owner must first give written notice to the tenant and the DHCR District/ Borough Rent Office. Within 48 hours after the Notice of Termination is served on the tenant, an exact copy of the notice and an affidavit of service shall be filed with the District/Borough Rent Office. The 48-hour period does not include any intervening Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
This Fact Sheet contains information on the procedures and rules that owners must follow in order to evict a tenant based on owner occupancy of the apartment.
This Fact Sheet contains Frequently Asked Questions related to foreclosure and owner and tenant’s rights.
This Fact Sheet contains information on the laws around discrimination, harassment and retaliation pertaining to immigrant tenants. Also see: Fair and Equitable Housing Office Immigrant Information
Form #RA-54: Owner’s Application for Order Granting Approval to Refuse Renewal of Lease and/or Proceed to Eviction
Owners must use this form to apply for DHCR approval to refuse to renew a tenant’s lease, and/or proceed to eviction.
Form #RC-50: Report and Certification to Alter or Demolish Rent Controlled Occupied Housing Accommodations
Owners must use this form to certify and report to DHCR of his, her or their intention to alter or demolish a building that contains one or more rent controlled apartments.
Operational Bulletin #2009-1: Procedures for an Owner's Application to Refuse to Renew Leases on the Grounds of Demolition
This Operational Bulletin contains information on the procedures for filing form RA-54, Owner’s Application to Refuse to Renew Leases on the Grounds of Demolition, with DHCR, the procedures around serving Termination Notices on tenants, and more.