Landlord & Tenant

Q: I rent a one-family house in Levittown, which is also occupied by the Landlord. The town inspected and found violations for a second kitchen. I do not have a lease and the landlord now wants me to leave. Do I have a right to stay?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED In Nassau County, you may not be physically removed from your residence until at least 14 days after the Sheriff has served a NOTICE OF EVICTION.  The process by which the Landlord must first obtain a judgment of possession and warrant of eviction requires that you be served with a Notice to Terminate at least 30 days' prior to the Landlord commencing the eviction proceeding.

Q: I have notified the Landlord that I will be a week late with the rent. I do not have a lease. Can I be evicted?

Mitchell’s Answer:  UPDATED A landlord may not demand rent or commence an eviction proceeding for non-payment until the fifth day after payment is due.  You are entitled to at least 30 days' notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. The landlord may evict you even if you are paying on time, and may refuse payment to avoid creating a new thirty days' term.

Q: Do I have to pay security deposit if there is no written lease?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED A security deposit is your money to be held in escrow by the landlord to protect against damages. It is NOT the landlord's money and must be maintained in a segregated account. If there is no written lease, you have the option of terminating the lease and vacating on 30 days’ notice, if you do not wish to make a deposit. A residential landlord may demand up to one months' security deposit, whether the lease is written or oral.

Q: I'm a Landlord in Nassau County, NY. The Tenants are in arrears and the lease has expired. How long will it take to evict?

Mitchell’s Answer: In Nassau County, the two most common methods for eviction are non-payment and holdover proceedings. Both options are available to you. A non-payment proceeding will get you into court quicker, but can be satisfied upon payment by the tenant. A holdover proceeding will take at least a month longer, but is more likely to achieve a certain result of the issuance of a warrant.  Any tenant in possession for more than one year but less than two years is entitled to sixty days' notice.  Any tenant in possession for more than two years is entitled to 90 days' notice.

Q: If I lose my job, can my landlord throw me out during the cold winter months?

Mitchell’s Answer: In Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the motto is, “You don't pay, you don't stay!” However, the process will take a few months and may even be prolonged by an experienced lawyer which could allow you time to find a new job and for the cold weather to pass.

Q: I was served with a 14 days'’ eviction notice on a Friday. When can I expect the Sheriff to evict me?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED You can expect the Sheriff and a moving truck after 14 days. It may be slightly longer, but don't count on it!

Q: I live with my daughter and my six months’ lease has expired. I keep paying rent and the landlord has not evicted me. What are my rights?

Mitchell’s Answer: For each month which you pay the rent on time and your landlord accepts the payment, you have the right to stay until the end of that month. In order to evict you, the Landlord must serve a 30 days’ notice informing you of the termination date.

Q: Can my landlord surprise me with a rent increase in a month to month tenancy?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED You must receive thirty days’ notice of a planned rent increase, up to 5%.  However, the landlord may increase by an additional 5% each month.

Q: Can I be evicted from my home by the purchaser after foreclosure?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED You may be evicted by a new owner. You are entitled to a 90 day notice by the lender, pre-foreclosure, followed by a 30/60/90 day notice from the Purchaser of the property.

Q: I live in Westbury, NY. How long will it take for the landlord to evict me once the Judgment and Warrant have been issued?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED In Nassau County, the Sheriff must serve a 14 days' notice to vacate before you may be physically removed from the premises.

Q: I signed my lease 10 years ago and it has long since expired. Is it still binding or am I considered a month-to-month tenant?

Mitchell’s Answer: Upon completion of the initial lease term, the tenancy may continue on a month to month basis, with the remainder of the lease in effect. So, the answer to your question is that the lease is still binding AND you are considered a month to tenant.

Q: My lease expired and I was served with a Thirty Days’ notice. Can I fight this in court?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED The landlord will have to prove that the notice was adequate and that delivery (service) was proper. If you have resided in the premises for more than one year, you are entitled to a notice of sixty days, and if you have been in possession for more than two years, the notice requirement is 90 days.  There are several aspects of both the Notice of Petition and the Petition which, if prepared improperly, could present a defect and could require that the action be re-commenced. However, if the lease has been properly terminated, you will eventually be evicted.

Q: My tenant is in arrears. Must I present a notarized demand letter in order to evict a tenant on Long Island?

Mitchell’s Answer: UPDATED No, you do not need to have the rent demand letter notarized. You must, however, provide proof of proper service of the 14 days' rent demand, served once the tenant was at least five days' in arrears.  The affidavit of service must be notarized.

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