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: In Nassau County, a 30 days’ notice must be served by certified mail and provide for a full calendar months’ notice to terminate. An action for a "hold-over" can be filed as early as the first of the following month. If properly served with a Notice of Petition and Petition which includes proof of service of the Thirty Days' Notice, you would likely be required to appear in court before the end of that month.


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: You are entitled to 30 days' notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. The landlord may evict you even if you are paying on time.


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

Mitchell’s Answer: 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.



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.


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 72 hours’ eviction notice on a Friday. When can i expect the Sheriff to evict me?

Mitchell’s Answer: You can expect the Sheriff and a moving truck after 72 hours, with each business day counted as 24 hours. It can 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: You must receive thirty days’ notice of a planned rent increase.


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

Mitchell’s Answer: You may be evicted by a new owner. You are entitled to a 90 day notice followed by a 30 day notice in New York.


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: In Nassau County, the Sheriff’'s office is about six weeks behind in processing the paperwork and scheduling the 72 hour notice to vacate.


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: The landlord will have to prove that the notice was adequate and that delivery (service) was proper. 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: No, you do not. A Thirty Days’ Notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy may be delivered via certified mail, RRR in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.