Eviction 101: Tenant & Property Management Rights

Evictions are stressful for everyone involved. Property management companies in New York can often avoid the eviction process altogether with a strong screening process. Unfortunately, not every eviction is avoidable. Landlords sometimes face an obligation to maintain the value of their property or the safety of other tenants. It’s important to know what your rights are as a landlord in an eviction process.  For tenants, it’s equally important to know your rights if you have been served an eviction notice by property management. Let’s take a closer look at the legal requirements of the eviction process.


Legal Reasons for Eviction

Typically, a lease is signed between both parties when the tenant moves in, which should state the payment terms and effective lease dates. Most likely, it contains a list of prohibited actions, which could leave to eviction. If these rules are broken, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant. These prohibited acts could include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to pay rent on time
  • Criminal activities or use of illegal drugs
  • Subletting without written permission
  • Damage to the unit or other tenants’ units
  • Having a pet (when prohibited)
  • Smoking in the unit (when prohibited)
  • Exceeding the number of agreed upon tenants


Illegal Reasons for Eviction

A landlord cannot evict a tenant because they “feel like it.” A lease is a legally binding document, which means tenants can only be evicted by failing to uphold the lease terms. Discrimination is forbidden in the housing industry—The Fair Housing Act forbids any housing decisions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or presence of children. If tenants suspect they’re being evicted for these reasons, they should report the landlord/property management company to the housing department.


The Eviction Process

  1. Property management must give tenants proper notice, between 30 and 60 days, before the eviction date. This protocol must be observed for eviction to be legal. Some states do allow for a shorter 3-day eviction  if the tenant has committed a serious act, such as assault, domestic violence or chronic failure to pay rent. It’s important to learn legal protocols for serving a notice within your state.
  2. The reason for an eviction does not always have to be stated on the notice, although some exceptions exist. The notice must identify the tenant, which unit they are renting and the person responsible for the unit (typically the landlord). If the eviction concerns the non-payment of rent, notices must include a valid address where property management can receive payment.
  3. Tenants must be served an eviction notice in person, via mail or on the door of their unit. Federal law entitles the due process of law if fundamental rights are compromised, which includes public and private housing. Telling a tenant verbally, giving the message to a relative or friend or just assuming they know it’s time to leave will not be covered by the law.

Although the eviction process is stressful, all aspects must be properly observed to remain legal. Once an eviction has been finalized, it’s important both parties follow regular move-out protocols. Property management should still process a tenant’s security deposit claim and perform a final inspection of the property.


Property Management Companies in New York

Evictions can be a minefield for property management companies. That being said, tenants should know their rights when dealing with evictions. If you have any questions regarding an eviction, contact a lawyer or a property management company in New York. If you’ve wondered– “Is there a property management company near me?” — look no further than Peridot Management, located in New York City. We are here to answer your questions regarding evictions, both for tenants and property management companies.

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