A nonpayment eviction case is started when the landlord is asking the court to order you to pay rent or to evict you if you do not pay the rent. You have the right to dispute the landlord's claim and present evidence. A nonpayment case in Housing Court does not mean that you must leave the apartment. If you have the money for the rent, the landlord must accept it.
Nonpayment cases are moving forward in housing court. The first step after receiving a petition is to answer and give the court your defenses. You can call your borough courthouse, use e-file, or go to the court in person. Although tenants in housing court have a right to counsel or to legal advice; the legal service providers are overwhelmed, and you may need to be very persistent to get free legal help.
Your landlord must first demand the rent. Then, your landlord can file a notice of petition and petition to start the case.
The papers will be served on you. The court will mail a postcard letting you know that a case was filed.
The Papers must be served by personal service, substitute service, or conspicuous service.
- Personal service – the court papers are handed to you.
- Substitute service – the papers are handed to an adult who lives or works in your home and mailed to you by certified and regular mail.
- Conspicuous service – the papers are either taped to or slid under your door and mailed to you by certified and regular mail.
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.
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.
Call us now at (888) 458-5410 for a free phone consultation.