August 3, 2015

Can landlord just throw me out? I just received eviction papers.

I am a retired 70-year old who recently got notice from my landlord seeking to evict me and I’m afraid.  Can the landlord just throw me out?


No, your landlord can’t just throw you out. The landlord must go to housing court, must win the case, and must get a court order called “Warrant of Eviction.” This is true even if you owe rent or your lease has expired. It is a criminal violation for your landlord to illegally throw you out by changing locks, padlocking the doors, taking out your furniture or belongings, turning off water or electricity, or doing anything else that keeps you out of your apartment. Call the police if your landlord does any of these things. Tell the police that your landlord does not have a “Warrant of Eviction” but has tried to throw you out. If the police won’t do anything, ask for the officer’s name and badge number and ask to speak to his/her supervisor. Call a lawyer if the police won’t tell the landlord s/he is violating the law.  It is possible to get a court order telling the landlord what s/he must do and get damages for any losses incurred by an illegal eviction.

Use this link for helpful tenant information in NYC Housing Court:

Riverstone’s Social Service Department has experienced social workers who can help you with eviction prevention in northern Manhattan and West Harlem.