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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Does a landlord have to follow eviction laws even if the lease states otherwise?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (9805 points ) August 16th, 2011 from iPhone

There have been a few tenants in my building that have had issues with the landlord. Just the other day, our new neighbors were forced to move out in 3 days notice because they gave 30 day notice to move out and the landlord didn’t like that, so they sent a letter to them saying to vacate the premises in 3 days. My other neighbors had the same thing happen to them but that was due to nonpayment of rent. They were given 3 days to pay or leave. Is this legal? I am slightly concerned because I recently gave notice to the landlord that I would be leaving before the lease is up. I found a new place and the conditions are completely unlivable at this apartment. I won’t go into details, but trust me when I say, nobody can happily stay here. Now I worry that they will send me a similar letter to vacate. I looked over the lease and it does state something about if lease terms are broken they can give 3 days notice. Doesn’t every landlord in ny still have to follow the eviction laws? Can they really come knock on someone’s door if they dont leave in 3 days and “force” them out? I’m not even packed yet! And I’m almost 9 months pregnant. I can’t move my entire apartment alone. Also, my new apartment is not available until the first of September so I would have to find a place to go. Yikes. Any landlords know the laws on something like this? Any peace of mind would be appreciated!

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16 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

No, your Landlord cannot make you leave in 3 days. One, he’d need grounds for eviction. Two, if he had grounds it would take longer than that to get you out.

With non payment of rent, the Landlord can give a quit or vacate notice…that in itself is not an eviction

Anyway long story short: it appears that you have less than 15 days in your apartment, and no legal proceeding would be that short if he suddenly did something unscrupulous to you now.

Judi's avatar

I don’t know what state you’re in, but a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit is standard (here in California.) if the person doesn’t comply, then the Landlord has a right to pursue eviction through the court. (That could take 30–60 days.)
As for the eviction after giving notice, they could probably serve a 3 day to perform or quit, but what are they going to force you to do? Stay in the apartment or move? They would also have to go to the court and force compliance.
Other states have different laws, but it’s usually not recorded as an eviction until the court says so, not just the Landlord.
Hopefully, when you gave notice to move you said it was “for cause” and listed the Landlords lease violations or State law violations.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Judi I am in NY. And yes, I wrote a letter describing all the issues I have had while living here and that were never addressed.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, they have to follow the law, but if they don’t, your only recourse is to take them to court, and that is very expensive.

Blondesjon's avatar

It’s like @Judi said. He has to get a piece of paper from a judge to legally evict you. If he comes in to your apartment and tries to physically force you out he is breaking the law and subject to arrest.

My last boss had a renter she wanted out and tried to go the intimidation route. She ended up in trouble with the law and it ended up taking 3 months to evict the tenant.

Just remember that in this situation the police are your friends. Don not be afraid to call them if he tries anything. He’ll got to jail and you will have more time to pack.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Judi I don’t know what state you’re in, but a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit is standard (here in California.) if the person doesn’t comply, then the Landlord has a right to pursue eviction through the court. (That could take 30–60 days.)? Is not a lease different than month-to-month rent? Isn’t it like when you lease a vehicle, get a cell phone contract, or cable? It is an agreement you and the landlord made where you said you would agree to occupy the property between this time and that under these conditions. If a lease is no more potent than a month-to-month rental agreement, what good is it? People can change up the conditions at a whim. If the lease states the landlord pays the water and takes care of the gardening, that is what you expect. He/she can’t just decide it is too much overhead and tell you that you have to handle the gardening and landscaping yet keep them alive and looking good for ”curb appeal”. If anyone decides to change the conditions of the lease when both don’t agree isn’t that a de facto breaking of the lease, because that is not what was agreed upon in the beginning? If you leased a home from me, and I said as part of the lease if the house ever needed painting while you were in it, the water heater busted, or the roof leaked I would pay for it. Then a storm blows through, and the roof is leaking on your furniture and the carpet, you call me to let me know expecting me to handle it as said in the lease. Instead, I tell you, that you better call someone and get it fixed because I am still holding you responsible for the condition of the carpet when your lease is up. Wouldn’t you feel duped? Would I be able to say it was in the lease, but I never expected to follow through with it, legally?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central that depends on how the lease is worded and if there is an early termination clause.

Also if @ItalianPrincess1217 can show constructive eviction then the lease could be deemed null and void anyway. I think it is a moot point anyway, sounds like she will be out before the next month’s rent is due.

jca's avatar

The lease cannot supercede the laws of the city, state or the country. There are laws on the books, landlord/tenant relations groups everywhere, to handle asshole landlords like this. New York is a very liberal state (I live in New York, as well) and if your rent is paid up, he cannot kick you out in 3 days, whether he likes it or not. If he pulls any shit, call the cops on him.

ESPECIALLY if you are 9 months pregnant, you could make him take you to court (in other words, do it the legal way) and they would give you time to move.

What ever is going on with the apartment, however, it sounds like it might not be a place you would want to have a baby living in.

@YARNLADY: She would not be taking the landlord to court. The landlord would have to take her to court.

john65pennington's avatar

Remember that contract that everyone read and signed? In this particular situation, the contract wording is enforeable. No contract? 30 day eviction notice is required.

jca's avatar

If your rent is paid for August, he cannot kick you out, till September, period.

@john65pennington: Remember this is in NYS. NYS is a very liberal state.

Judi's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central ; I was refering to someone who had not paid rent. If either party breaks the terms of the lease (In this case, failure to pay rent) the other party has the right to (in most cases) void the lease. That would justify the three day notice to pay rent or quit.

john65pennington's avatar

P.S. to my answer….all states are different in their laws. Check with your local District Attorney General’s office for an answer for your state.

Ica, thanks for reminding me. jp

creative1's avatar

I can tell you its illegal to do in both MA and RI, I have lived in both states and I have gone thru a real estate class here in RI so I know that law here. I don’t know what state you are living in but in any case I beleive they need to get a court order in order to have the sheriffs office evict you and that in any state takes time.

jca's avatar

If anybody read the OP’s narrative, she said she lives in NY state.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jca Thanks for noticing!

creative1's avatar

First let me appologize for not seeing you live in NY…. let me direct you to this website regarding tenant rights it even gives you a location under thiscontact.htm link of contact numbers which I would look at as well.

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