There are different ways of looking at it. Depending on the tenancy, there might be a situation where the person’s lease had expired, and now the landlord wanted them out but they were holding over. The landlord would not have to do anything, and he would not even have to serve a predicate notice because he could just serve a petition on them.
In that situation, once the landlord accepted rent after the termination of a definitive lease period, the landlord would have created something called the month-to-month tenancy and thereafter, he would have to give them a 30-day notice. There are a lot of different scenarios and all different kinds of contrarians to examine. It would also depend on the county the person was in.
How Are Holdover Evictions Handled?
Let us consider a case in Nassau County that was a pure holdover. Let us assume my client was the landlord and he came to me on October 23 and told me they had a tenant in the house that they wanted out, but there was no lease. In that case, I would tell them that we would have to serve the tenant with a 30-day notice to quit. I would need to get that notice served before the end of October and that notice would advise the tenant that they would have to be out by the end of November.
There would not be a true 30 days for a holdover case, it would be a 30 day term. The landlord would have to give them the courtesy of the next term to vacate, and that would be the November term. We would serve a 30-day notice to quit on the tenant. That notice would be served on them informing them they had to vacate by 30 November. We then would be able to bring a petition in landlord/tenant court if the tenant did not vacate the premises by 30 November. The timeframe would be 23 October to start, roughly, and then we would have to wait the full 30 days of November.
How Long Does It Take For The Eviction Notice To Be Implemented?
In Nassau County, it takes between 6 to 8 weeks for the sheriff to come knocking on the door after you serve the sheriff with a warrant, so from that 23 October start date, it could be probably go into February before the sheriff served the 72-hour notice on the tenant stating that the sheriff would be there in 3 days and they would remove the person from the premises. We would really be talking about a 90-day window, which would actually be the quickest in Nassau County.
Suffolk is a little different than Nassau County because there are multiple district courts and Nassau County is one district court that handles all the landlord/tenant parts. Suffolk has four in the western part of Suffolk County, and there are two more plus the local courts in the eastern part of Suffolk County.
I do not handle a lot of cases in the east of Riverhead, NY, so I am usually in the 4 district courts in western Suffolk, in Patchogue, Ronkonkoma, Lindenhurst and Huntington. Those courts are different. The temperament of the judges is generally much more favorable toward landlords, the adjourn dates would be shorter and the sheriff would only be about two to four weeks out. We could probably knock out about 30 days, so it would be about a 60-day window in Suffolk from start to finish on a holdover, which would be a typical holdover proceeding.
How Is Eviction Handled In A Non-Payment Case?
A non-payment case might be quicker because for a non-payment, they would only serve a 3-day notice to cure. The person might end up in court a lot quicker if they did not cure in 3 days, so they would not have to wait that whole 30-day period from the time and service of the holdover proceeding. It can be very hard, so I always do it on a case-by-case basis for my clients when they come in, although this is not usually the first question they ask.
The first question they usually ask is when the tenants would leave. I would tell them the game plan and give them a timeline if it was a holdover or nonpayment. I would generally recommend a settlement and I would recommend to the landlord that the best way of getting the tenant out would be to give them an incentive to get out. We would talk about keys for cash, so the landlord would offer to pay them money to leave by a certain date so the tenant could just get out and hand over the keys.
Very often, the landlord would be owed a significant amount of money. I have landlords who are owed 10, 15, $20,000 in back rent, and I usually tell them that ultimately their goal would be to get the tenants out and then either re-let the property or sell it.
I tell them that their chances of collecting on a judgment on such a large amount against these types of tenants would sometimes be very slim, and that as an incentive to settling the case and getting a definitive date for them to be out, they could waive the rent or waive a portion of the rent in the settlement agreement. This way the tenant would know they needed to be out at the end of the month but it would be a good deal because they would not owe the landlord all of this money. Often, tenants jump at these kinds of opportunities.
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