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What should I do if I need to remove a tenant to sell a property?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Landlord-Tenant |

As a landlord in New York looking to sell your property, you may find yourself in a position where you need to remove a tenant. This process can be complex, given the strict tenant protection laws in place. The following will provide some guidance as you start to weigh your options.

Timing matters: Two important steps before moving forward to evict a tenant

Although you should take time to understand the process, anyone navigating the real estate game knows that timing matters. Before moving forward with an attempt to evict a tenant to close or pursue a real estate transaction on the property, it is important to take these two steps:

  • Review your lease agreements: The wording of the leasing contract matters. It is important to check the contract for any clauses that pertain to selling the property and the notice period required.
  • Know the laws: It is also wise to familiarize yourself with state and local laws, including the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.

Legal notice must be given in accordance with the lease and state law. Rules are present and include guidance on how to provide proper notice and timing. In New York, a landlord generally cannot move forward with the eviction process without a court ruling and Warrant of Eviction.

A note of caution: The law can change

It is important to note that the laws that govern these matters are evolving. Many states are making it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants. Just cause laws are gaining momentum throughout the country. Lawmakers have considered similar measures here in New York. New York City uses just cause laws for rent-controlled apartments, but lawmakers recently considered expanding these rules to apply throughout the sate.

Removing a tenant to sell a property is a sensitive matter that requires a careful balance of respecting tenant rights and pursuing your interests as a landlord. Take the time and seek legal counsel to better ensure you operate within the bounds of the law. Following proper protocol will not only protect you legally but also help to better ensure you maintain a positive reputation in the real estate community.