According to New York State law, a landlord would have to file a motion in court to lawfully evict a tenant. But before the eviction can take place, the landlord must first terminate the tenancy by serving a written notice. Should the tenant fail to comply with the notice, the landlord can proceed to file an eviction lawsuit in court.
Property owners should follow NYC’s landlord-tenant process service guidelines to increase their chances of winning an eviction case.
Reasons for eviction
- Failure to settle rent on time – Before a landlord can evict a tenant for missed payments, they must serve a written notice that provides the tenant at least 14 days to settle their payment or vacate the premises.
- Violation of the lease/rental agreement – Lease violations may include damage to property, smoking in non-smoking areas, and habitual public disturbances.
- Illegal use of the property – A landlord has the right to evict a tenant who has engaged in unlawful activity within the property. Examples of illegal activities are prostitution, domestic abuse, and using, dealing, or producing prohibited drugs on the premises.
- Non-renewal of the lease after the end of the rental period – New York landlords are not allowed to evict a tenant without probable cause. A written notice must be provided should a landlord wish to end the tenancy without probable cause or not renew the lease.
Serving the tenant for nonpayment of rent
If the tenant fails to settle the rent due by the time the 14-day notice period is over, a landlord-tenant proceeding can be initiated by filing a Petition and Notice of Petition.
A copy of the Petition and Notice of Petition must be served to the tenant 10 to 17 days before the hearing.
Who may serve:
- A professional process server
- Anyone who is 18 years old or older and not connected to the lawsuit in any way
Landlords are not allowed to serve the papers themselves
How to serve:
- Actual or Personal delivery: Court documents are delivered to the tenant in person.
- Substituted delivery: If the tenant is unavailable, the papers may be handed to someone living with the tenant who is 18 or older and has appropriate judgment to receive them. The server must also send a copy of the paperwork to the respondent via regular mail and via certified mail.
- Conspicuous Place delivery: The paperwork is placed in a visible and secure spot, ideally by the entrance of the property.
Once the required documents have been served, the process server shall complete an Affidavit of Service and have it notarized. It must be filed with the Court within 3 days after it has been served. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of the case.
Trust Serve Index LLC for your process serving needs
Our licensed process servers specialize in swift and compliant landlord-tenant process serving. We offer same-day service, standard service (three- to five-day processing time), and rush service (within 24-48 hours). We’ll personally deliver notices to your tenants anywhere in New York and ensure complete documentation.
Contact us and ensure court documents are served correctly and on time.