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5 steps to take if your landlord is unlawfully evicting you

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2023 | Landlord-Tenant |

Unlawful eviction is a serious issue. If your landlord in New York is attempting to evict you without following the proper legal procedures, it can feel overwhelming and unjust. However, it is important to remember that you have rights and protections under the law.

Knowing what steps to take can empower you to respond effectively. Here is a guide on what to do if you face unlawful eviction in New York.

1. Understand your rights

New York law provides strong protections for tenants. A landlord cannot force you out of your home without a court order. This means they cannot change locks, remove your belongings or shut off utilities to make you leave. They must give proper notice and then go through the court system to evict you.

2. Gather evidence

If your landlord is attempting to unlawfully evict you, start gathering evidence. This can include text messages, emails or any other form of communication. It can also include photos or videos if the landlord has done something like changing the locks or removing your belongings.

3. Notify local authorities

If your landlord is trying to force you out without a court order, you can contact the local police or sheriff’s department. They can enforce the law and prevent unlawful eviction.

4. File a complaint

You can file a complaint against a landlord who tries to evict you unlawfully. You can do this through the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Filing a complaint can help stop the eviction and may result in penalties for the landlord.

5. Go to court

If your landlord takes you to court to evict you, it is important to show up. Bring any evidence you have gathered and explain your situation to the judge. You have the right to defend yourself against the eviction.

Facing an unlawful eviction can be a stressful experience. But you have rights and protections under New York law and can fight against an unlawful eviction.