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.
COVID-19 Tenant Protection from Eviction
On June 30, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, which provides tenants who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with immediate protection from eviction. The Tenant Safe Harbor Act prohibits courts from evicting residential tenants who are experiencing financial hardship for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 period. It applies to any unpaid rent that accrues or becomes due from March 7th, 2020 to present, until a date is determined where all COVID-related restrictions on non-essential gatherings and businesses are lifted. A court cannot use unpaid rent accrued during this COVID-19 period as the basis for a non-payment eviction of a financially burdened tenant; however, the court can impose a money judgment.
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.
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 or her 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.