How can Iremove squatters from my property?

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How can Iremove squatters from my property?

They are not paying rent at this point. I have already sent them a letter requesting them out in 15 days. That didn’t work so I sent second notice with another 5 days. However they are still there; what is my next step?

Asked on July 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In NY you need only give a 3-day "Notice of Termination" for a non-payment case. This notice should be in writing and warn the tenant that they will be evicted if they do not pay. If the Tenant has not paid or vacated after their 3 day warning, the landlord may file a "Petition" against the tenant in civil court for the jurisdiction where the property is located. Once this is done the Court Clerk will give the landlord back a "Notice of Petition" which contains the time and place of the court date. The landlord must have the tenant "served" or delivered a copy of both the Petition and the Notice of Petition. Also, while these methods are not required for delivering the Notice of Termination (above), using 1 of them is a good idea.

In NY, a landlord themselves cannot server the tenant. Rather there are 3 other accepted ways to serve a tenant - "Personal Delivery" (service by a precess server or friend); "Substituted Service" (if the tenant is not home, the documents can be left with a legally responsible adult who lives on the premises); and "Conspicuous Place Service" (if after 2 attempts no one answers the door the papers may be attached to the front door or slid under the door). With the last 2 methods copies must also be sent regular and certified mail and affidavits to this effect must be signed and notarized by the process server or friend.

The Court Clerk will let you know when your court date is. On that date you must go to court and bring all related documents with you for the judge to review. In a non-payment case, if the judge rules in your favor, a judgment will be entered giving the tenant 5 days to pay the rent.

If the tenant does not pay the rent within this 5 day period you must have a Marshal or other law enforcement officer issue a "Warrant of Eviction". The tenant will give have 72 hours to vacate. If the tenant does not either vacate or go back to court within this time period (see Note), the Marshal or officer will remove them.

Note:  Once the tenant has received the Warrant of Eviction, they can quickly go back to court and ask for an "Order to Show Cause" which will give them more time and another court date. If the judge signs the order, the landlord will have to again appear in order to defend the eviction. If the landlord does not attend this hearing, it could cancel the entire eviction and the landlord will have to start all over.


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