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New York Landlords May Evict Their Month to Month Tenants for Any Reason

July 13, 2018 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

In the state of New York, eviction can be a rather frustrating process, depending on the hostility of the tenant and their willingness to challenge legitimacy or legality of the landlord’s eviction actions.

Suppose, for example, that you have a difficult tenant who is causing you a number of administrative headaches.  Perhaps they have a bad attitude towards other tenants and their presence is generally disfavored.  In accordance with standard New York landlord-tenant law for contract tenants (i.e., tenants with a lease), you — the landlord — would not have a right to evict the problematic tenant without reasonable cause.

Whether you have reasonable cause is a difficult question, however, and is quite prone to argument.  Even if you do have reasonable cause to evict the tenant, there are complex notification procedures that you’ll have to follow.

Everything is simpler in the month-to-month tenant context, by contrast.  Landlords who have month-to-month tenants will encounter fewer barriers to eviction, affording them the ability to evict without having to suffer the procedural and legal headaches typical of a standard premature eviction.

Let’s take a quick peek at how month-to-month tenancy is terminated.

No Justification Required for Eviction

If your tenant qualifies as a month-to-month tenant — and your community does not have rent control or some other form of rent regulation — then you will have the right to terminate the lease at any time and evict the tenant for any reason.  In fact, you do not have to give any explanation for why you are evicting the tenant.  Once the tenant receives your notice to move from the premises, they will have to decide whether to move out or refuse and go through an eviction proceeding.

Notice Requirements and Other Limitations

It’s worth noting that you still do have various procedural requirements, though they are somewhat streamlined in a month-to-month tenancy situation.  If you are ready to evict a month-to-month tenant in New York, then you’ll have to give 30-days' notice, first, before they move out (or refuse, leading to eviction proceedings).

Though you can — ostensibly — evict a month-to-month tenant for any reason, New York law still imposes some limitations on landlords.  You may not evict a month-to-month tenant for a discriminatory reason, or as retaliation for some other conduct for which the tenant is legally entitled to such protection.

It is generally in this area that conflict may arise.  For example, if you have a month-to-month tenant who you’d like to evict because you simply don’t like their attitude and overall personality, you would be entitled to terminate the tenancy.  If the month-to-month tenant is the member of a protected class, however (i.e., gender, race, etc.) then they might challenge the eviction by arguing that you have a discriminatory reason for forcing them to leave the premises.

Request an Appointment With an Attorney Experienced in New York Landlord-Tenant Disputes

Here at Griffin Alexander, P.C., our attorneys have decades of combined experience advocating on behalf of landlords in a variety of challenging New York landlord tenant law disputes, including those that involve the eviction of month-to-month tenants.

We believe that comprehensive legal representation is most effective, and as such, we work with clients to identify and gather all relevant information to the case at-issue, giving us an opportunity to express a more convincing argument.

Call (973) 366-1188 or request an appointment online to connect to an attorney at Griffin Alexander, P.C. today.

The information in this Client Alert is provided solely for information purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice on any specific matter and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based upon particular circumstances.  Each legal matter is unique, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


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