IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING LANDLORD-TENANT LAW, YOU MAY CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY. THE COURT CANNOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE.
Monetary Jurisdiction - (Section 204 UCCA)
The Court may enter judgment without regard to amount.
Geographical Jurisdiction - (Section 204 UCCA)
Property must be located in whole or in part within the city.
Filling Fee: $45.00 which must be paid to the Court. The Court will accept cash, money order, or in some instances, checks.
Forms: The forms necessary for initiating a Landlord-Tenant Proceeding can be purchased from a stationary or office supply store or obtained from your attorney. You can also obtain a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) version of the forms here.
1. Notice to Pay rent or surrender possession
Before a summary proceeding (Landlord-Tenant proceeding) can be brought for non-payment of rent, a personal demand for rent must be made by written notice giving the tenant at least 14 days to pay the rent or surrender possession of the premises must be served upon the tenant(s).
The 14 day notice must state the amount of the rent due and the period of time for which the amount is due, together with a demand that the total amount be paid within 14 business days after service of the notice. The date of service, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are excluded. Payment of the rent before the hearing must be accepted by the landlord and ends the proceeding.
2. Affidavit of Service (for service of 14 day notice)
After the 14 day notice has been served on the tenant, an Affidavit of Service must be signed before a Notary Public by the person that served the 14 day notice. The notice must be served by a non-party to the action over the age of 18 years old. After the tenant has been served with the 14 day notice and has failed to pay the rent due, a Landlord-Tenant proceeding can be initiated in the City Court by completing and filing the following documents:
3. Notice of Petition (e.g. Blumberg Form X445):
This document can be signed by an attorney, the Judge, or the Clerk of the Court. The Notice of Petition must be completed by the landlord.
Note: When completing the Petition (see below) and Notice of Petition, the landlord must contact the City Court Clerk's office in order to get a court date which must appear in the Notice of Petition.
The court date must be no less than 10 days or later than 17 days from the date that the tenant is served. (You must count Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays in calculations but cannot count the service date). The landlord and/or an attorney and the tenant(s) must appear on the court date.
4. Petition (e.g. Blumberg Form X444):
The Petition is a document which must be completed by the landlord and attached to the Notice of Petition and the 14 day notice done in writing which was previously served on the tenant. (The attachment of the 14 day notice is required. The landlord is to sign this document and sign the verification in front of a Notary Public.
When the documents are completed and a court date has been provided by contacting the City Court where you are filing documents, and the Judge or Clerk of the Court or an attorney have signed the Notice of Petition, then and only then, can the tenant be served with the Notice of Petition and Petition.
The Notice of Petition, Petition, and the 14 day Notice (if applicable), which was previously served on the tenant, must be filed with the Court along with the $45 filing fee. The original is filed with the court, a copy for the files, and one for each person being served.
5. Affidavit of Service (for service of Notice of Petition and Petition)
This Affidavit of Service is filed with the Court after service of the Notice of Petition and Petition on the tenant. The Notice of Petition and Petition must be served by a person 18 years or older. The person who serves the Notice of Petition and Petition must not be a party to the action. The landlord or owner of the property may not serve the Notice of Petition and Petition. Attempts at personal delivery of the Petition and Notice of Petition upon the respondent-tenant must be made. The process server may serve an individual of suitable age and discretion residing at the property, if service is followed within one day by a first class and a registered or certified mailing. In cases where personal delivery is not possible or an individual of suitable age and discretion residing at the premises can not be found, and the process server has exercised reasonable application in attempting personal delivery, service may be made by "Nail and Mail". That is; posting the papers on the door of the residence of the respondent-tenant AND within one day, mailing a copy of the papers by certified mail or registered mail (Section 735 RPAPL) and by first class mail.
Types of Service and Filing of Affidavit of Service
Personal Delivery: Actual delivery of the notice or process to the person to whom it is directed (also termed actual service).
Substitute Service: Any method of service allowed by law in place of personal delivery, such as service by mail (also termed constructive service). There are two types of substitute service allowed by statute–delivery to a person of suitable age and discretion followed within one day by a first class and registered or certified mailing or by placing the Petition on or under the door of the property sought to be recovered followed within one day by a first class and a registered or certified mailing. If substitute service is used, the Court typically does not award a money judgment. Note that "Nail and Mail" service cannot be used until there have been attempts at personal delivery.
The affidavit of service must be filed with the Court at least 72 hours after service and with substitute service at least five days before the return date. FAILURE TO FILE THE AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE WITHIN 72 HOURS OF THE SERVICE DATE MAY RESULT IN THE DISMISSAL OF THE CASE.
If, at any time, it is determined by the landlord that the Court date is no longer needed, the landlord should notify the Court, in writing, as soon as possible.
Note: The $45 filing fee cannot be returned.
If the court orders the tenant to be removed from the premises, the Court may sign the following document:
6. Warrant of Eviction
If the Court orders a Warrant of Eviction, the Court will sign the Warrant of Eviction which enables the local law enforcement agency (i.e.: Sheriff, Police, Marshal, City Constable) to remove the tenant(s) from the premises.
The warrant form should be filled out completely. The heading should include both the Petitioner/Landlord and the Respondent/Tenant's full name and complete address. The Index No. is the City Court index number. The Tenant's name should be placed after the "TO" and all blank lines are to be completed with all necessary information. All addresses are to include the house number, street, city, state, and zip code.
SOME COURTS MAY GENERATE THE WARRANT OF EVICTION FOR YOU.
Note: There is a mandatory 14 day waiting period between the time the tenant is served with the Warrant and when the tenant may be removed from the premises by the local law enforcement agency. The Warrant of Eviction has to be executed during the daylight hours.