Court is Open for Non-payment and Holdover Eviction Cases

Hi, everybody. Evan Rogers of Evan Rogers Law, P.C  with an update for all of my Landlords. Court is open. So, yes, we have been filing 30-, 60-, and 90-day predicate notices all along, as well as your Section 8 certifications for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) cases. We’ve been filing non-payments and holdovers in the Bronx and in Mount Vernon continuously.

We are getting Court dates on some of our non-payment cases, but especially on Holdover cases We’re conducting Inquests when the tenant has failed to answer the Petition. On older cases we are required to make motions for those Inquests, but on the recent cases that is no longer required. We’ve had trials, we are getting Warrants issued, We are having our City Marshal serve those 14 day notices, and we are having evictions take place !  That’s the good news. 

The bad news is that judges that used to be hearing 100 cases a day are now only hearing 30 or so cases.  So the court is literally falling 70 cases per judge.

Let’s say there’s twelve judges in the Bronx Housing Court resolution parts.  Only 360 cases can be heard per day in a system that used to handle 100,000 cases a year.  So it’s very important to get online.

It’s very important if you have a tenant whose lease has expired and you’d like to get him out or her out. Or even more proactively. If you have a tenant that’s been in that apartment  for two years or more and they have a lease.  So lets imagine you have a tenant for 2 or more years and the lease is ending in four months.  Well due to former Governor Cuomo’s depraved Tenant Protection Act you must give a 90 day notice to your Tenant before starting a case.

Why is it depraved?  It is depraved because you can only have ONE month of security and once you serve that notice the tenant will almost always STOP PAYING THE RENT.  Therefore by the time you get into Court you could be owed five months of rent or more.

The Constitution means nothing to the members of the New York State Assembly or the New York State Senate, nor is the present Governor even slightly interested in your Constitutional rights if you are a landlord. This is not a politically correct statement but it is the absolute truth,

So unless you have thought through what you wish to do about your tenants BEFORE the lease is up you may lose a large amount of money before you can get that Holdover tenant out,

Now you may have heard of ERAP, the Emergency Rent Assistance Program set up by the left in Washington. This is a great program if you have a non payment case but useless if you have a tenant you want out because of any reason.

Under the law in this unfortunate State of New York once a Tenant filed an ERAP application your case that you filed is stopped dead, it is stayed until such time as New York State deigns to make a decision on that application.

Fortunately there are some exceptions to the law that we can use to vacate that stay.

These include cases where we have said in our predicate notice that you need the apartment for family use. For instance your son or daughter is coming home from the armed services or your mother is elderly and you want the apartment so you can better assist her. There are other exceptions that I will be happy to go over with you during a consultation.

So lets say your  lease is going to be up in  a bit over three months. Please call me or any other lawyer that knows what they’re doing so we can get your 90 day notice set up. Because you must serve a 90 day notice before you can start that hold over case. Once we do get that hold over case file, be aware that the City of New York says every tenant is entitled to a free lawyer that you are paying for with your tax dollars. These are coming from Legal Aid, Bronx Legal Services and several other groups.

The first time we’re in court, the court is going to say, we don’t care, Mr. Rogers, about your client. We’re only interested in seeing if your tenant wants a free lawyer. And I’ve actually had tenants say to the court. Well, I don’t want a free lawyer if I have to pay for it.

I can’t imagine a more crazy statement to make in an appearance and still, the court then has to say, no. Free does mean free. In any event, if the tenant shows up, the case will then be adjourned to what’s called the resolution part, where it will languish for several months before we can finally get sent to a trial assignment part.  You can expect adjournments may be two months or more due to the backlog of cases.

Once your Bronx case  goes to a trial assignment part, we will be given yet one more conference that we will have to attend, and then we will be able to get a trial date and try your case. Of course, at any point during this process, we can try to settle the case.  Of course if you have a Mount Vernon case this is not a problem and on the 2nd appearance we can actually try your case.  And we do.

The good news for those who have BRONX non-payment cases is there’s no one better at getting money out of the city than your tenant’s free lawyer who is actually being paid by the State of New York or the City of New York. So clients of mine that are doing non payments, we’re having phenomenal luck getting your money. If you have a Holdover, well, the objective is you want the tenant out, isn’t it? If we can get money for you, we’d love to get money for you, but really, the main objective is to get them out and as quickly as possible to stop the money crunch.

As always, It’s always free to talk to me or email me. On the bottom of the screen you can see my email, I respond to emails within 24 hours. Phone calls, not as quickly.

We’re very busy but happy to assist you and end the pain of having that tenant who believes she or he owns your house when they do not !     So, again, God bless all of you landlords. We do care about you. I’m a landlord myself, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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