A holdover eviction case is started by your landlord to remove you from the apartment for some reason, not for back rent.
The papers. You should first get a warning that the landlord wants you to leave. It might be a notice to quit or a notice of termination. Next you should get a petition and notice of petition. The petition will contain the reason your landlord wants to evict you. It will have the time, date, and room number for your hearing. The landlord cannot serve the papers himself. He must use a process server, or someone not connected to the case.
The hearing. You will first try to settle your case. You will talk to the landlord or his lawyer and try to make an agreement. The court attorney can help if you cannot come to an agreement.
If you cannot settle the case, you can ask for a trial. In a trial, the judge will listen to the arguments of both sides and decide if you have the right to keep living in the apartment or if the landlord can have you evicted. Talk to a lawyer before asking for a trial.
Unregulated Apartments. If you live in a private house, a rented room, or other unregulated housing, and you don't have a lease or the lease has expired, the landlord does not need to have a good reason to start a holdover case. You and the landlord will try to come to an agreement about how much time you get to move out and if you have to pay for ongoing or back rent.
Rent Regulated Housing. Rent stabilized and rent controlled tenants have many rights that protect their tenancy. The landlord must have a good reason to bring a holdover case. Before starting the case, the landlord must serve you a notice warning that a case will be started and why.
What Are Some Reasons the Landlord Might Start a Holdover Case?
- violating the lease or the law
- damaging the apartment or other tenants
- regularly falling behind on the rent
- keeping clutter in the apartment
- having a pet or a washing machine
- using the apartment for illegal activity
- not using the apartment as your primary residence
- subletting without permission
- Rarely, landlords want the apartment for a relative, or want to demolish the building or remove it from residential use.
Try to get a tenant defense attorney to represent you. There are defenses that can get your case dismissed. Be careful what you admit to the landlord and his attorney. This information may be used against you.
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