New York How To Prepare for a Landlord Tenant Trial
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This booklet will help you understand the general rules and procedures of a Housing Court trial. Written by Hon. Magaret Cammer, Civil Court of the City of NY.
Document Last Modified: 5/8/2023
How to Prepare for a Landlord Tenant Trial
In this booklet, you will find general information on the key aspects of housing trials in New York. These trials are generally heard by a judge and not by a jury and all decisions in the case will be made based on legally admissible proof. Thus, it is up to the plaintiffs and defendants to present their cases through legally obtained evidence and to show that they have followed all proper and legal steps throughout the process. Here, you’ll learn about how these cases are heard, how to prepare and conduct yourself, and your rights after the trial is over.
Who: If you are a landlord in New York, you can benefit from reading this booklet. While you never want to be involved in pursuing an eviction or a tenant/landlord trial, these are sometimes unfortunate facts of life when you are a property owner. Thus, you should be familiar with your rights and the best way to prepare for this type of trial.
What: This booklet is an informative guide that highlights the preparation and procedures involved in a housing court trial in New York. It includes information on evidence, what to expect in the courtroom, how to conduct yourself before a judge, settlements, appeals, and your rights before, during, and after the trial.
When: You can benefit from reading this booklet at any time. As a landlord, you should know the basics of how housing court works in case you are ever in the position of attempting to evict a tenant or recoup lost rental fees. Understanding ahead of time how you should conduct yourself in court and in front of a judge will put you in good standing should you ever have to appear in housing court in New York.
- For more information on evictions and notifications in the state of New York, you may find these resources and forms helpful, as well:
- Late Rent – Demand for Rent
- New York Demand for Rent
- Eviction Record Timeline
- Overview of the Eviction Process
If you have a tenant who has fallen behind on rent and you have already served them a 3 Day Demand for Rent, you can begin the filing process online at the NY Courts website or find the appropriate housing court forms here.
Important Note: New York has some of the most complicated housing and tenant/landlord laws in all of the United States. It is almost always advisable to hire an attorney when handling eviction and housing court issues in New York.
New York State Specific Documents
- New York City Rent-Stabilized Rider (Form RA-LR1: This form must be included in all New York City Rental Agreements and renewal agreements for rent-controlled apartments.
- NYC Child Notice for Lead Paint Compliance: This addendum is required for New York City Landlords renting to families with children under the age of 6. It must be provided to Tenants annually - at the signing of the Lease and at the time of renewal.
- New York City Required Annual Notice - Window Guards and Lead Paint: Occupants in buildings with 3 or more units must sign this form annually and give it to their Landlord.
- NYC Lease Renewal for Rent Stabilized Housing: Landlords renewing a Lease with Tenants in rent-stabilized housing must use this form.
- NYC Increase in Rent (for Rent Controlled Units): New York City rent-controlled apartments have complex rules for raising rent. This form makes it EZ for Landlords to comply with all requirements.
- New York Demand For Rent 14-Day Notice: This form is for Landlords that have Tenants that are late with rent. Pro Tip: It must be used before an eviction proceeding can be initiated.
- New York How To Prepare for a Landlord-Tenant Trial: This booklet is a great resource for New York Landlords preparing for a housing trial. It includes the rules and procedures Landlords will need.
- New York Notice to Vacate: This form should be used with Tenants that are violating the Lease but can cure the violation and remain in the property. This form provides Tenants with specifics regarding their Lease violation and the time that they have to cure the violation in order to avoid vacating the property.
- Buffalo Disclosure of Smoking Policy: The City of Buffalo requires Landlords to disclose a smoking policy. This form makes it EZ to do so and complies with Buffalo’s requirements
- Buffalo Rental Registry Information: Buffalo Landlords must register all rental properties. This form provides details on how Landlords do this.
- What Tenants Should Know About Indoor Allergens: New York City law requires that Landlords take steps to keep their Tenants’ homes free of pests and mold.
- New York City Indoor Allergen Disclosure: New York City Landlords of buildings with three or more Rental Units must comply with specific regulations to reduce the risk of indoor allergens like mold and pests. This form outlines those requirements and serves as a disclosure that documents a Landlord's compliance with all requirements.
- Buffalo Disclosure of Smoking Policy: The City of Buffalo in the State of New York requires the landlord to disclose a smoking policy, according to Chapter 264- Rental Dwelling Unit Registration.
- New York Sprinkler Disclosure: Landlords must disclose to the tenant whether there is a sprinkler system installed within the property or not.
- New York City Annual Stove Knob Cover Notice: NYC: Local Law 117 requires that the property owner of multiple dwellings provide stove knob covers for gas-powered stoves where the owner knows or reasonably should know that a child under six years of age resides.
- NYC Lease Renewal Form - EPTA Form RTP-8: This NYC Lease Renewal Form allows landlords to renew a lease with tenants that are enrolled within The Emergency Protection Act.