Retaliatory Eviction

On April 19, 2017, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

RETALIATORY EVICTION

In New York, tenants are protected from retaliatory eviction proceedings by RPAPL 223-b.  This statute states in summary that a landlord cannot commence a summary proceeding to evict a tenant in retaliation or response to a tenant exercising it’s rights to file a complaint against the landlord with a government authority.  The statute also goes a bit further and protects a landlord from retaliating against the tenant in other ways than starting a retaliatory eviction proceeding.  Most notably, the statute prohibits a landlord from changing terms of the lease agreement in response to a complaint.

Another major component of this statute is the presumption that it creates.  If the landlord has knowledge of the complaint filed by the tenant prior to initiating the summary proceeding, the landlord is presumed to be commencing a retaliatory eviction proceeding.  The presumption however is only applicable after the tenant disproves certain underlying allegations of the petition; such as nonpayment of rent.

Retaliatory evictions are often commenced in response to the filing of a complaint due to the landlords failure to provide necessary services such as heat or hot water.  It is important to understand whether or not a summary proceeding is warranted under the circumstances or whether the commencement of an action will be considered by the court to be a retaliatory eviction.

Landlord Tenant Attorney

Knowing the law regarding retaliatory eviction proceedings is necessary for every landlord and tenant.  Please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620, where a landlord tenant attorney can speak with you about your case.

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