Holdover tenants are tenants who stay beyond their lease terms without their landlords’ consent. State laws govern the legal steps that landlords must take to evict their holdover tenants. In New York, landlords who rent residential property are subject to the New York rent control laws, rent stabilization laws or non-rent-controlled property laws. The necessary legal holdover procedures and notice requirements before landlords can evict their holdover tenants depend on the type of property rented.
Generally, buildings constructed after 1974 in New York are not subject to the state’s regulated housing laws governing landlords and their tenants in rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments. In unregulated housing, landlords can evict their tenants for nonpayment of rent, for failing to leave at the end of the original lease period or for damaging property or violating some other lease obligation. As long as landlords give their tenants a reasonable opportunity to collect their personal belongings, they may demand evictions against holdover tenants.
“Reasonable” depends on the notice requirements provided in leases or as determined by New York’s housing courts on a case-by-case basis. If tenants do not leave by the eviction date, a landlord can obtain a warrant of eviction from a court allowing him to legally demand eviction by requesting a judicial notice of eviction. After three days of serving a notice of eviction on the holdover tenant, the landlord can request the sheriff’s office or local marshal to evict the tenant forcibly.
Rent control guidelines apply to property built before 1947. The New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal administers the rent control laws that apply to landlords offering rent-controlled apartments to tenants. The rent control regulations require landlords to comply with strict eviction procedures before they can legally evict their tenants. Landlords can evict their tenants for nonpayment of rent by issuing a written rent demand letter and filing a nonpayment petition in the state’s housing court. The amount of time landlords must give their tenants to vacate their units depends on the guidelines in effect when their leases were executed.
Rent stabilization guidelines apply to most property built between 1947 and 1974. The New York Rent Guideline Boards are responsible for administering the rent-stabilization regulations that govern landlords and their tenants who live in rent-stabilized buildings. The New York Emergency Tenant Protection Act requires landlords to consent to reasonable requests from their tenants to sublet their apartments. Tenants have the right to renew their leases before their landlords can commence eviction lawsuits for unlawfully holding over their property. Tenants in rent-stabilized apartments have a right to legally remain in their premises without formally renewing their leases if their landlords failed to provide them with a renewal lease.
New York law prohibits landlords from evicting elderly or disabled tenants in regulated apartments without finding replacement housing for them in certain circumstances. Additionally, landlords who forcibly evict their tenants without legally obtaining a warrant of eviction are subject to lawsuits, and tenants can recover triple damages against them. In New York City, landlords who illegally and forcibly evict their tenants are subject to further civil penalties and criminal sanctions.
Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.