Albany, NY asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for New York

Q: If I don’t have a lease , do I have squatters rights?

My mother lived in this apartment and I took it over . The landlord knew about me taking it over and agreed to it . I never signed any paperwork . He hasn’t fixed one single whole in the walls . Hasn’t got me a new fridge or a working stove . I’ve been here since November and have been paying my rent on time for the last 4 months. Rent was due on the 15th and I recently lost my job but also started a new one . He’s threatening me saying he’s going to call the cops and that I have three days to get out . Please help me & guide me in a good way . I’m only 19 and all I’m trying to do is keep my head above water for me and my daughter .

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1 Lawyer Answer
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If you have been paying rent directly to the landlord and the landlord has accepted your payments, you shouldn't have to rely on "squatter's rights" but are instead a tenant entitled to legal protections afforded by the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 as well as other applicable laws. The landlord must comply with all applicable laws and obtain a judgment of eviction before you can be legally evicted. If the landlord changes the locks or resorts to other forms of self-help, you may call the police for assistance.

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