Landlord-Tenant Litigation

We represent both commercial and residential tenants and landlords in a wide variety of disputes in New York. Some examples include the following:

Non-Payment Proceedings

As the name suggests, non-payment proceedings stem from a landlord’s allegation that rent which is due has not been paid. Under New York law, a landlord must serve a tenant with a rent demand and provide the tenant with three days to render the payment demanded. The lease, however, may provide for a longer cure period. If the tenant has not rendered payment within such requisite period, the landlord is permitted to commence an action in court by which it seeks payment of the alleged rent which is due. In New York City, these actions are started by the filing and subsequent service of a notice of petition and petition in the New York City Civil Court in the county where the property is located. Upon receiving a notice of petition and petition, it is critical that a tenant consult with counsel prior to filing an answer in the New York City Civil Court so that the tenant can determine what possible defenses he or she might have to such an action.

Hold-Over Proceedings

A hold-over-proceeding is commenced by a landlord against the occupant of a premises when the landlord purports that such person and/or entity does not have the legal right to continue to remain in such premises. There are many grounds on which a landlord may commence a holdover proceeding. In some instances, where the landlord believes that a tenant has violated a term of the lease, a landlord may be required to serve a tenant with a notice to cure so as to allow the tenant the opportunity to cure the alleged violation prior to terminating such tenancy and/or commencing a holdover proceeding. One of the most common basis for bringing a holdover proceeding in New York is when a tenant continues to remain in a commercial or residential space after its lease has expired. In the instance where a month-to-month tenancy has been created by the landlord accepting rent payments after such lease has expired, the landlord is required to serve a thirty (30) day notice of termination prior to commencing a holdover proceeding. For tenants in rent stabilized apartments, a common ground for bringing a holdover proceeding is based on the allegation that the tenant is not occupying the subject apartment as his or her primary residence. A landlord may refuse to renew a rent stabilized lease, terminate such tenant’s tenancy, and subsequently bring a holdover proceeding to evict the tenant if the landlord believes that he or she is primarily living elsewhere. Like non-payment proceedings, holdover proceedings are summary proceedings which, in New York City, are commenced in the Civil Court of the City of New York in the county where the subject property is located. If you are served with a notice of termination, notice to cure, or notice of petition, it is critical that you consult with an attorney so that you can determine your legal rights.

Commercial Landlord-Tenant Proceedings

As with residential tenants, commercial tenants are also subject to non-payment proceedings and holdover proceedings. In New York City, such proceeding are held in Part 52 of the New York City Civil Court. Commercial landlord-tenant proceedings present unique problems and concerns as the viability of the tenant’s business is often dependent on being able to continue to occupy such commercial space. If you are a business faced with a dispute with your landlord, it is important that you consult with counsel so as to determine your rights and remedies. It is also important to keep in mind that corporations and limited liability companies are not permitted to represent themselves in the court actions and are required to retain counsel.

“Yellowstone” Injunctions

So called “Yellowstone” injunctions provide a potentially critical remedy for tenants. Yelllowstone injunctions are commenced in the Supreme Court of the State of New York and are brought by tenants for the purpose of tolling or stopping the period of time which a tenant has to cure an alleged violation of a lease agreement. It is critical that such injunctive relief be sought before the cure period actually ends. While Yellowstone injunctions are primarily utilized by commercial tenants, they may be available to residential tenants as well.

Please contact us to discuss your landlord-tenant matter.