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COVID-19 New York Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I live in a non smoking apartment complex. Cigarette smoke in my apartment.

This has been going on since the beginning of this year. Landlord said they could not evict anyone because of covid-19. Second hand smoke is considered a health hazard. I had found that the Landlord can evict someone because of a health issue. How can I have my Landlord to honor there non smoking... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 19, 2021

It has been extremely difficult for landlords to move landlord/tenant cases forward during the Covid-19 pandemic. For tenants that have filed Hardship Declarations, proceedings are stayed through August 31, 2021, except in very limited cases of extreme nuisance. Not to suggest that the health... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I be evicted if I provided a hardship declaration during covid
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jun 11, 2021

If you filed a Hardship Declaration, you can’t be evicted before the moratorium is over unless you are engaging in offensive or dangerous conduct. However, you remain fully liable for all rents due, even during the moratorium. The landlord will be able to commence legal proceedings to evict you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Mom is landlord, pay rent with a written contract, wants to kick me out for a random drug test forced to take. Legal?

My mom is my landlord and I have a written contract to live at home with “terms subject to change by mom at any point”. I tried smoking weed a long time ago which she didn’t like. I stopped for the most part except for a week ago at a friends. My mom forced me take a random drug test or she... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 17, 2021

If you are no longer a minor, your parents do not have to continue to allow you to reside in their home. However, like any other landlord, there are appropriate legal steps that must be taken before you can be evicted from the property. These legal proceedings generally take many months and as a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I was living with my boyfriend in his house. He passed away in the end of September of 2020. His father has asked me to

Leave but I have no where to go and have been looking for a place but my finances are very bad and COVID isn’t helping me either as far as finding a place. He just left me a text saying he would be changing the locks in March 15 of 2021 and will restrict my entff egg y to the house. What can I... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Mar 8, 2021

Condolences on your loss. As you may know there have been numerous moratoriums on evictions as a result of Covid pandemic. However, even without the impacts of Covid, to legally evict a tenant or licensee, a judgment of eviction must first be obtained. If you are concerned you may be illegally... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My landlord makes noise plays loud music smokes weed. Can i sue her for all rent my mom is ill and need peace and quiet?

Before moving to the apartment she told us no noise and she wants people who don't smoke drink loud parties etc. She also wants us to hang out with her and her family we said " no besides its covid19." We moved in because we desperately needed an apartment. Two weeks in she started... Read more »

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Feb 25, 2021

Maybe. It would be better to have an attorney write a letter providing notice and withholding rent while you save. You have use and occupancy, so it will be hard to claw back any serious money. Definitely consult an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My tenants lease expired in July 2020. They haven’t paid the last 3 months. What are my options to remove them?

We both agreed that the tenants would pay on a monthly basis. The tenants have not paid a dime of rent for the past 3 months and refuse to pay now because they say they are protected from the covid 19 relief. What can I do? I am sick of being a landlord and really just want to sell the house. Can I... Read more »

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Dec 1, 2020

Your tenants may be protected by COVID 19 protections now, but that doesn't stop you from taking the proper steps to begin the removal process and get them financially on the hook and yourself in line to get them evicted. I would strongly urge you to evict them first and sell after. Selling... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: landlord is selling the house I live in she is trying to let people come in our house to look around we are in Buffalo

New York and are in closing for COVID-19

We have told her no but now her realtor is saying he’s coming in anyway what can I do

And my landlord lives in Germany

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Nov 20, 2020

So you can definitely hold out and negotiate with the landlord to be bought out. My office deals with these kinds of matters all the time. The landlords will have to evict you if they want you out without buying you out. Consult an attorney!

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I sue my landlord in small claims court for a noise nuisance?

My landlord has refused to do anything about an noisy heating pipe that makes extremely loud banging and hammering noises for the last 2 winters. It has severely impacted my ability to sleep and live and now with Covid-19, work. I've sent them multiple requests including a formal letter in the... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 13, 2020

"Quiet Enjoyment" is a legal term of art that probably doesn't mean what you think it does; however, you may have the right to demand the landlord correct the noise condition and even receive a partial rent abatement until the situation is corrected. If your landlord is not taking... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I negotiate with landlord to stay at my apartment after receiving a termination of lease?

Hello. I received a termination of lease by landlord in July 2020. My lease if up Nov 2020. I have been looking for an apartment for months now and I cannot find. They want three times my salary. I recently got layed off because of covid 19 pandemic but have some savings. I am not sure what to do.... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 5, 2020

There is always room for negotiations. In any event, if you don't reach an agreement before your lease terminates, the landlord can't just lock you out but will have to commence a court case. If the landlord won't give you time, the court may.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Wanted to terminate my lease earlier because of financial hardship due to COVID -19!

Due to the pandemic, I experience financial hardship. I tried to negotiate the rent but the landlord won't assist on that matter except using their hardship program which we did use the deposit to pay the month of September rent. I was looking at different alternatives and also to terminate my... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 23, 2020

When you sign a lease you are entering into a contract. The landlord is promising to rent you space for a specific use and a specific period of time. Likewise, the tenant is promising to rent a particular space for a specific use for a specified period of time. Unless there is a clause in the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I own a house. My s.o. moved in a few months ago but we are now breaking up. How long should I give for her to move out?

I initiated the breakup.

We do not have a formal lease, but before she moved in we had verbally agreed that she would pay a fairly small amount monthly when she started living here (she did not ever start paying).

The house is in my name only, with a mortgage (don't know if... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 22, 2020

If you need to go the route of commencing legal action to remove your S.O. from your home, the process can take longer than you may find tolerable. Depending on whether the occupant is a tenant or a licensee, the required predicate notices can be as short as 10 days to as long as 90 days. Only... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Commercial rent dispute in NY. Judge set prelim. conference after SJ motion. Should defense try to settle before prelim?

Plaintiff filed claim for unpaid rent. Defense responded that they were unable to pay rent due to COVID and BLM protests (and thus, are not in breach), and are invoking force majeure clause. Plaintiff filed motion for summary judgment. Defense responded to summary judgment motion. Judge now set... Read more »

John Robert Skrabanek
John Robert Skrabanek answered on Sep 15, 2020

Either could work. Generally, settling earlier rather than later is often in the parties' best interests because they reduce their overall transaction costs. The longer the dispute continues, the more the parties have to expend in furthering their interests. However, often settling early is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Tenant's lease ended in June 2020. He wasn't paying rent then.He owes 4 mon. He claims no stimulus. Wants renewed lease?

The tenant said he has the rent but will not pay it unless I renew his lease. He is self employed and thanks to social media I see he has been working during the pandemic. Actually texted to me that no back or future rents will be paid w/o a new lease and that's that! Wait what? Gov Cuomo... Read more »

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Sep 7, 2020

Just because evictions are stopped--your tenant is still on the hook for paying rent. You might consider having an attorney write him a demand letter for the money owed, and start formalities of notice in preparation for eviction. That way, when the courts reopen you're covered and the clock... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can my landlord tell me to pay more money for past months rent because we are switching our lease from a year to 3 month

We want to get out of lease early bc of covid and ability to afford rent because of loss of work. Our landlord said no but said we can switch from a year lease to 3 months. They want to charge us $500 to even just start the paperwork and then $500 for June and July rent that we have already paid,... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 23, 2020

Even with the havoc that the Covid crisis has created, generally tenants remain responsible for the remaining term of any unexpired leases. If the landlord is willing to release you from the remaining term of your lease, it is not unusual to require a payment of some type. Appears that basically... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: We need to leave our office due to covid downturn in biz after 16 yrs but have no "get out early" clause.

We have never not paid the rent except in the last month where we paid 50% as our business income has gone to zero since Covid started. Landlord suggested one smaller office space but cost to move and fact that we need to remove this overhead entirely means it's not necessarily a solution.... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 15, 2020

Many tenants with otherwise outstanding track records with their landlords have been unable to meet ongoing rent obligations as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Sometimes, the terms of a specific lease or guaranty can provide a basis to end a lease early or at least suspend payments that became... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: my tenant is denying me access in the last month of the lease for a plumber to fix the shower due to COVID
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 14, 2020

Many people are reluctant to have service people in their homes during the Covid crisis. If this is an emergency situation, you can commence a court proceeding to compel access. However, this generally means spending money on legal fees that are difficult or impossible to recover. Therefore, if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My landlord yesterday came and changed locks threw my belongings in garbage and packed boxes

He had an individual I do not know stay to do this cos had to come and let me in my home after just losing to sisters in 24 hrs he tries to throw me and my stuff and kids on street to pandemic he is a business owner and should no better then to change locks and throw my stuff in a dumpster he just... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 8, 2020

You can call the police. If you have proof that you live at that property the police should compel the landlord to restore you to possession. In the event the police are not helpful, you may file an emergency OSC with the NYC Housing Court, which has been hearing emergency applications throughout... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: been a tenant for 20+ years in my apt in queens ny. I wanted to use my security deposit $20+ years ago of $1100

Been renting more 20 yrs in my apt in woodside NY, (queens) and did alot of renovations and never bothered my landlord for anything. Before pandemic my landlord told me she needed her apt back to use she gave me 1 month notice. I told them i will look for an apt but till then i will continue paying... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 7, 2020

If you are moving at the end of the month, the Landlord has no means to enforce the demand for an additional security deposit before you move. Unless a tenant has an explicit agreement with a Landlord to provide reimbursement for renovations, a Landlord is not obligated to reimburse a tenant and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Building has a reported Covid19 & tenants are unsafe. I want to understand how we move out and not continue our lease.
George E. Patsis
George E. Patsis answered on May 30, 2020

The lease may have an early termination clause. You should thoroughly review the lease to see if it provides you with any options. Try talking to the landlord, maybe they can correct the safety issues.

Generally, a lease cannot be terminated just because someone in the building is...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Business Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I own a barbershop/salon the landlord wants 2 months of rent I'm suffering by the COVID19 Virus what is the best option?
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 18, 2020

Pursuant to Governor Cuomo's Executive Order, the moratorium on evictions has been extended to August 20th, so there is no immediate threat of eviction. However, the Executive Order does not relieve a tenant's obligation to pay rent.... It just temporarily removes the ability of the... Read more »

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