Illegal Acts and Evictions in New York State
Whether a tenant is not paying rent or violating their lease, there are certain guidelines landlords must adhere to when evicting them in New York State.
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way landlords must respond to tenants who might, under other circumstances, be evicted. Now, it is especially important to ensure that landlords do not commit illegal acts when it comes to evictions in New York State.
When is Eviction Illegal in New York State?
Under normal circumstances, landlords cannot evict tenants without valid reason. There are certain situations where you may have a defense against your landlord if they serve you an eviction notice.
Self-help actions, like turning off utilities or changing the locks
Failing to give proper notice for an eviction
Tenant has paid rent when the landlord claims they have not
Tenant refused to pay rent because the landlord did not maintain the unit
Landlord fails to give the tenant ten days’ notice to fix lease violations
Landlord evicts the tenant based on discrimination
How Does the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Eviction Laws?
While the COVID-19 pandemic is happening, landlords should not be evicting tenants. According to Governor Cuomo’s executive order, the courts cannot begin cases that would lead to landlords serving eviction notices.
While landlords may still be able to raise your rent, they must give you notice if they plan to raise it more than 5 percent.
Landlords and tenants should come to an agreement if their lease is expiring, too. While this would normally be the best time to leave your apartment if you were thinking about it, moving right now may put you at risk for coronavirus exposure. It might be best to negotiate a month-to-month lease, leaving you open to moving once the pandemic is successfully contained.
What Can You Do if You are Illegally Evicted?
If you believe your landlord has committed an illegal act or eviction in New York State, contact us at DDC Law. Our experienced Staten Island attorneys can help you navigate your case and give you all the information you need about eviction laws. Call us at 718-667-1301 or contact us online for a consultation.