How to Evict a Family Member in New York State

How to Evict a Family Member in New York State

Evicting a family member from your property can be a difficult and emotionally charged process. However, there may be instances where it becomes necessary to take such action due to strained relationships, financial reasons, or other circumstances. In New York State, the eviction process for a family member is governed by specific laws and procedures. This article will guide you through the steps involved in evicting a family member and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Understand the Legal Grounds: Before initiating the eviction process, it is crucial to understand the legal grounds for eviction. In New York, you can evict a family member if they are a licensee, meaning they are staying in your property with your permission but without a lease agreement. You must provide them with a written notice to vacate.

2. Provide a Written Notice: Draft a written notice stating that the family member must vacate the premises within a specific timeframe, usually 30 days. This notice should be delivered to the family member personally or sent via certified mail with a return receipt.

3. File a Holdover Petition: If the family member fails to leave within the specified timeframe, you will need to file a holdover petition in housing court. This petition will initiate a legal proceeding against the family member, and the court will schedule a hearing.

4. Attend the Court Hearing: Both you and the family member will need to attend the court hearing. Present your case and provide evidence supporting your claim for eviction. If the court rules in your favor, they will issue a judgment of possession.

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5. Obtain the Warrant of Eviction: Once the judgment of possession is obtained, you will need to bring it to the court’s clerk’s office to obtain a warrant of eviction. The warrant allows the local sheriff or marshal to physically remove the family member from the property.

6. Enforce the Warrant of Eviction: The warrant of eviction is served by the sheriff or marshal, who will schedule a date for the physical eviction. They will notify the family member of the eviction date and time. It is crucial to allow the sheriff or marshal to handle the physical eviction to avoid any legal complications.

7. Change the Locks and Take Possession: After the physical eviction, change the locks to prevent the family member from re-entering the property without permission. You can then take full possession of your property.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Can I evict a family member without providing a written notice?
No, in New York State, you must provide a written notice to the family member, specifying the timeframe within which they must vacate the property.

2. What happens if the family member refuses to leave after receiving the notice?
If the family member fails to vacate the property within the specified timeframe, you will need to file a holdover petition in housing court to initiate legal proceedings.

3. Can I physically remove the family member from the property myself?
No, only a sheriff or marshal can physically remove a family member from the property after obtaining a warrant of eviction from the court.

4. How long does the eviction process usually take?
The eviction process can vary in length, but it typically takes several weeks to months, depending on the court’s schedule and the complexity of the case.

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5. Can I evict a family member during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Eviction proceedings were temporarily suspended in New York State due to the pandemic. However, as of May 1, 2022, eviction proceedings have resumed, but certain protections may still apply for tenants facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

6. Can I evict a family member who is a co-owner of the property?
No, you cannot evict a co-owner of the property. However, you may be able to take legal action to force a property partition or seek a buyout agreement.

7. Can I evict a family member who has a written lease agreement?
If the family member has a written lease agreement, you cannot evict them without cause until the lease term expires. However, consult with an attorney to understand your rights and options.

Evicting a family member is a complex and sensitive process. It is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal requirements and help protect your rights throughout the eviction process in New York State.