How doI start the process of eviction on my own or wouldI require a lawyer?

Does the legal aid handle such cases?

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legal aid (a/k/a Legal Services) sometimes helps tenants who are being threatened with eviction; it does not help landlords.

If you own the property in your own name, you could represent yourself. You can only evict if there was a breach of the lease (including nonpayment of rent), grossly negligent or willful destruction of your property, or threats against you or your employee...or if the tenancy is over (e.g. a lease has expired) and the tenant has not moved out. You can file for eviction yourself in court if you want--and you must file in court; you can only evict through the courts. You can get the forms through your courts, but may wish to engage an attorney to help you--especially if you are evicting for any reason other than nonpayment of rent, since many of the grounds for eviction (like breach of a nonpayment term of a lease) require you first serve proper notice on the tenant and often give him or her the chance to fix (

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