Q: I have tenants that have been late with their rent month after month. Their lease was up this month and I want them out.
Thier lease is up and they say they haven't found a new place yet. What do I do to remove them?
A: This depends on what is stated in the lease. Sometimes, leases provide for these situations, so without seeing yours, this is not an easy question to answer. Generally, if a lease has expired, and there is no provision therein for an automatic renewal or change in tenancy status (such as reverting to a month-to-month), you can file for a "holdover summary proceeding" in your local court. As a rule, expired leases do revert to a month-to-month as long as the landlord accepts rental payments, more about that below...
As of June, 2019, the rules for summary proceedings have changed drastically, and it might take some time to get them out, but it's not impossible. You can find information for doing this yourself at www.courts.state.ny.us. The important thing is that you immediately serve them with a written notice of eviction (don't serve it yourself, have a friend over the age of 18 do it for you and fill out an affidavit of service, notarized, see the rules at the same website). MOST IMPORTANT: stop collecting rent from them. Tell them you want them out and refuse their rent along with the written notice (oral notice is legal, but impossible to prove). You can always request rental arrears when your case lands in a courtroom, and it most likely will. There is a waiting time, a period from which your notice of eviction is served until you can bring your case to court, and each time you accept rent, you reset that clock. You may want a lawyer to handle this for you, but it's not rocket science and you can do it yourself, forms and instructions are on the website.
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