There are many reasons why a landlord may want to evict their tenant, such as not paying rent, staying past the lease term, not following the rental agreement, or even for unfair reasons as well. If your landlord is trying to evict you, you may not know how to proceed with the process. Although there are housing lawyers in NYC that can help you, you should also be aware of some of the ways to prepare for trial.
Consider How You Received Your Summons and Complaint
To start an eviction case in court, your landlord must serve you with a summons and complaint. On this document, the landlord must state exactly why you are being evicted. In addition, it must be served by a sheriff or constable who is authorized by law to serve court papers. The document should be delivered to you directly or left at your apartment; if it’s left at your apartment, the landlord also has to send you a copy by first-class mail. If these procedures are not followed, then you can ask the court to dismiss the case.
Pay Attention to Important Dates
There are 3 important dates to pay attention to:
- Entry Date – The entry date is the deadline by which your landlord must actually enter or file the complaint with the court, pay the entry fee, and prove that they actually served it to you. The date can be any Monday after the date that you were served the summons (anywhere from 7 to 30 days after). If the landlord doesn’t file their papers by the entry date, the case may be dismissed.
- Answer Date – This is the date in which you must deliver a document to the landlord and the court which tells your side of the story. The answer date will be 3 days before the first court date.
- First Court Date – The court will also inform you of your first court date, which you should be careful not to miss. Sometimes this can be done over the phone or in a videoconference.
Try Transferring to Housing Court
If your case was filed in district court, you can transfer it to a housing court. The reason you would want to do this is because the judges in housing court are more familiar with housing laws. They also have the expertise to help you through the process, as opposed to district courts who handle many different types of cases.
During this process, it’s important that you have a housing lawyer in NYC to help you protect your rights. For more information, contact Gary Wachtel.