As a New York landlord managing apartments, buildings, homes, and other properties, you may have asked yourself at some point, “How to evict a tenant in NYC with no lease?” While it’s possible to evict a tenant without a lease in the state of New York, the circumstances and legal actions involved with the process depend on many factors. To better illustrate this, let’s zoom back for a second and discuss why a tenant, or landlord, would prefer non-contractual tenancy arrangements in the first place.
It’s well known that eviction is probably the worst part of being a landlord; nobody wants to get hit with that sort of news, and for landlords, it can be even more stressful between finding a replacement tenant and making sure that court orders are filed correctly. While some exceptions will inevitably exist, most decisions regarding the absence of a lease boil down to a simple choice: freedom or stability. Many tenants seek an arrangement without formal agreements because they’re either “trying out” the area, or they move residences often. Landlords, meanwhile, will have a much easier time with the eviction process. Leases often have strict guidelines when approaching eviction, and in the absence of regulations, landlords have more freedom to pursue.
This brings us back to our original question; yes, it’s possible to evict without a lease, but there are some conditions that must be satisfied when doing this. And yes, the process still mandates a formal notice be given to the tenant, but the following must also be satisfied.
NYC Eviction Laws – Without a Lease
- Notice to quit must be in writing:
When drafting a notice to quit, it’s important to include the following information: names of all tenants being evicted, an indication of whether the agreement was oral or lease, any outstanding financial debts/obligations, and to whom tenants should surrender the property.
- The tenant must be informed they have the right to contest the eviction in court:
Tenants have certain rights regardless of the type of rental agreement they have with their landlord. Any property manager pursuing eviction must legally inform tenants they can contest within a court of law.
- Three attempts must be made to hand-deliver the eviction notice before it can be mailed or left at the property:
It’s not usually considered “delivery” if the landlord simply slides the eviction notice under the door. In New York, 3 “good faith” delivery attempts must be made before the notice to quit can be left on the property.
Please note, however, that in New York City, certain exceptions are immune to non-agreement eviction. This includes tenants who have stayed on month-to-month following the termination of a lease and communities that are rent stabilized or controlled.
You Don’t Need a Rhyme or Reason
We would be remiss if we didn’t also mention a tenant-at-will. Now, what is a tenant-at-will? It simply refers to a tenant living in a rental property in the absence of a formal rental or lease agreement. Basically, if you’re trying to evict a tenant without a lease, then you’re evicting a tenant-at-will. We just wanted to bring up the term to familiarize landlords.
What Rights Do Tenants Have Without a Lease in NYC?
Tenants-at-will do indeed have rental rights despite not being bound by an official lease. Many of these rights are the same ones afforded to renters with leases, but oftentimes their legal status is misunderstood. The reason we mention this here is that many property managers, in referencing “at will” tenants, have asked us can a landlord evict a tenant without notice. In the state of New York, a tenant cannot be legally evicted without first having been given a 7-day, or 30-day, notice to quit.
However, if the tenant occupies any property “at will,” then a landlord is not required to provide any sort of reason to justify the eviction. This makes it much easier for the landlord to file proceedings with the court, as mentioned earlier.
It Can Get Confusing
Eviction isn’t an easy beast to tame, and many landlords often seek help when seeking to evict a tenant, especially those living “at will.” Between court filings, getting a sheriff’s deputy, and jumping through the legal hoops, evicting any kind of tenant can become a nightmare. At Bennett Movers, we specialize in eviction moves and are more than capable of handling the sticky logistics. Contact our team now and get a free quote!