Landlord/Tenant Law

Knowledgeable Real Estate Attorneys Based in New York

When you own real estate in New York, you may rely on your tenants' payment of rent to keep operations running smoothly. Residential or commercial tenants' failure to pay can take a harsh toll on your profits. Residential tenants have far more statutory protections than commercial tenants do. For example, a residential tenant is protected by the warranty of habitability and local codes. At Klapper & Fass, our real estate lawyers represent New York City landlords in all types of legal proceedings, including eviction, non-payment and nuisance cases.

Summary Proceedings Involving Landlord/Tenant Disputes

In New York, summary proceedings are statutory special proceedings covered by Article 4 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules and Article 7 of the real property actions and proceedings law (landlord/tenant law). They may take the form of nonpayment proceedings or holdover proceedings.

Nonpayment proceedings are based on a tenant's default in paying rent. These kinds of proceedings may arise when the person to be removed is a tenant in possession of real property who has defaulted on rent payments after a prior demand for payment of rent. The demand can be oral or verbal, rather than written, as long as it is unequivocal. The lease must define a particular obligation as “rent” or as “additional rent.” Based on the tenant's failure to honor this obligation, the landlord may commence a nonpayment proceeding. The nonpayment proceeding permits the lease agreement to continue until the entry of final judgment of possession and the issuance of an eviction warrant.

A holdover proceeding is appropriate when the tenant to be removed holds over after the expiration of the lease term without the landlord's permission. A lease may expire by its own term or the termination may be accelerated by a default of the tenant under the lease agreement. With the holdover proceeding, the relationship between the two parties is over before the summary proceeding because the lease term expired or because the tenant defaulted.

Other areas of tenant defaults that the attorneys of Klapper & Fass handle for clients owning residential buildings in New York City are defaults based on nuisance and non-primary residence. A summary eviction proceeding based on a nuisance claim is where the tenant, because of his or her behavior, makes the continuation of the tenancy dangerous, unhealthy, or disturbing to the peace and quiet that other tenant neighbors expect and are entitled. A non-primary residence case arises when a regulated residential tenant does not use his or her apartment as the primary residence. Where this happens, a residential landlord upon proper notice to the tenant is entitled not to renew the tenant’s lease and seek an eviction of the tenant if necessary. Our attorneys have successfully represented landlords in nuisance and non-primary resident cases.

Actions Involving Commercial Leases

Tenant defaults may arise from an attempted assignment or sublet without the landlord’s consent, alterations or improvements not authorized by the lease or the landlord, improper use of the demised premises in contravention to the lease, or illegal signage. Many commercial leases require that the tenant be given notice and an opportunity to cure before a default and termination of the lease occurs. A tenant who believes that it can cure a default but needs more time or wants a court to determine the legitimacy of an alleged default can seek court intervention in the form of what is know as a “Yellowstone Injunction.” Representing landlords, we have successfully litigated Yellowstone Injunctions and other commercial lease disputes.

Consult a New York Lawyer Skilled in Landlord/Tenant Disputes

The written lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant should spell out the obligations of both sides clearly. The landlord/tenant attorneys at the New York firm of Klapper & Fass represent landlords in any legal matters that may arise, including nonpayment of rent and holdover summary proceedings. Our offices are in both White Plains and Manhattan. Our lawyers serve the five boroughs of New York City and the surrounding counties of Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess. Orange, Nassau, and Suffolk. Contact us at 914.287.6466 or via our online form.