New York How To Prepare for a Landlord Tenant Trial

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: 2/17/2020

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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.

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