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Rockland County Bar Association



An Eviction Proceeding can be a very daunting and challenging time for owners and tenants alike. Some owners depend on rental income to keep their finances stable while tenants may be at risk of losing the only place they may call home. It is easy to understand that eviction proceedings have a lot at stake and should always be taken seriously. Because eviction proceedings are hyper-technical and the risks are so high, it is advisable that you retain the services of an experienced attorney to represent you. For example, different notices must be supplied to the tenant before an eviction is set on the Court’s calendar. The wrong notice can result in the eviction proceeding being dismissed. Furthermore, proper affidavits of service must be supplied to the Court according to strict deadlines, which again, may place the proceeding at great risk. On the other hand, if the tenant does not adequately defend their position, they may have a judgment entered against their credit and be forcefully removed from their home by the County Sheriff. For these reasons, many clients seek our assistance as we have represented both landlords and tenants in numerous eviction proceedings. If you are reading, you are in the right place! 




When An Eviction Proceeding Can Be Commenced:


Many times, eviction proceedings are commenced due to a tenant’s non-payment of rent.

In most cases, a lease would govern many aspects of the parties’ obligations to one another. If a lease is not active, a month-to-month lease would govern, absent the owner expressly not renewing the lease. It is a common misconception that rent may be withheld if the owner is not fulfilling their obligation to the tenant (i.e. repairs, maintenance, etc.). To the contrary, non-payment can result in the tenant being served with a Petition for Eviction. If a tenant believes the owner is not fulfilling their obligations, it is strongly advised that you contact an attorney prior to withholding any funds. Correspondence can potentially be sent to the owner placing them on notice that rent funds will be held in an attorney escrow until all obligations are fulfilled. This of course depends entirely on the circumstances of the particular case. 


Eviction Proceedings may also be commenced for reasons other than non-payment of rent. These reasons may include violations of the terms of an active lease agreement, lease expiration, or a tenant’s refusal to vacate after a lease has been terminated. If the following has occurred, the tenant is considered a holdover tenant and can be evicted. 



What Occurs During An Eviction Proceeding:


In summary, and in most cases, the tenant will be served with a notice. Each notice is entirely different and has differing deadlines depending upon whether the basis for the eviction is non-payment of rent, or, other than non-payment of rent (this is crucial). A Petition must also be filed and served according to the regulations set by the State of New York (this is also very crucial). Thereafter, a Court date will be set for both parties to appear and present their arguments / defenses. If a decision is made by a judge against a tenant where non-payment of rent is involved, a judgment may be entered against their credit. Judgments are entered with the County Clerk and will follow that individual until it is satisfied. Wages may be garnished to collect monies due or property may be seized. A Warrant of Eviction can be executed by a Judge and delivered to the Sheriff’s Department where a date for eviction will be scheduled. Owners are generally responsible for the cost of hiring movers. On the other hand, if a tenant is successful in defeating the eviction proceeding, none of the above would take place and the tenant could have a claim against the landlord. 



Due to the state’s requirements as to how certain steps are to take place, eviction proceedings can last for a few months if they are contested on both sides from beginning to end. Some evictions however, move very rapidly. Our firm will of course try to condense this timing through either negotiations or aggressive tactics. If you are either landlord or tenant and presently dealing with an eviction proceeding, please do not hesitate to speak with our office. Consultations are always FREE and our pricing is extremely competitive. A phone call to our firm can make all the difference! 

"Mr. Fried and his staff were impeccably professional and knowledgeable. They were patient and answered all of my questions, and I received prompt responses to all calls and emails. I also appreciate how well they explained the legal proceedings of my case to me. Thanks to their efforts, my case was resolved with a favorable outcome. Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of service I've received and would absolutely recommend this firm."

—  Y. Chun


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