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Frequently Asked Questions About the Eviction Process in Queens & Brooklyn

1. Can I get a free consultation?
Yes. You can contact the office by e-mail or phone. Your particular facts will determine how we proceed with your eviction case. We will talk about what your goals are, whether your building has 1-5 apartments or if your building is rent regulated because it has 6 or more apartments, whether there is a lease, any government assistance your tenant might be receiving and other things to make sure your case is brought correctly. This will usually take a few minutes.

2. How can I start a case?
Simple. Once we have determined what kind of eviction proceeding is necessary, there are two ways you can proceed. Most landlords take advantage of our on-line option. Simply fill out the information on the Start a Case menu. Don’t worry about things you don’t know. We will either get the missing information or call you to help fill in the blanks. When your input is received, you will get an invoice by e-mail authorizing a charge to any major debit or credit card. This form will be scanned to the office so you will not be inputting your credit card information directly. If you do not want to proceed on-line, you are welcome to make an appointment to come to the office.

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3. How long will it take to start a case?
Your eviction proceeding will be commenced within 24 hours after your input is received.

4. How long will it take to evict my tenant?
That depends. Your tenants might start looking for an apartment when they get the first notice and move before a court date is even necessary. However, most cases do end up in court and the facts of your case will determine how long it takes to evict your tenant. Many cases can be settled without the need for trial in 1 -2 court appearances but it can take longer. You can get a better idea by calling the office to review your particular situation.

5. I have heard it can take 6 months to evict a tenant in Queens or Brooklyn. Is that right?
If you've heard that evicting a tenant can take six months, your information is a little bit right and a little bit wrong. The law provides that if you are successful after trial, a judge can grant the tenant between 5 days and six months to remain in the apartment after a judgment of possession is issued. As long as your building is not in violation of the certificate of occupancy, the judge will almost never waive rent for the period of time the tenant is allowed to stay. Therefore, the tenant will be ordered to pay rent retroactively and prospectively if a stay is granted. However, trials in Housing Court are not usual as most cases are settled by stipulations between the parties.

6. Can I evict my roommate?
Unless you have given your roommate a lease, the answer is usually, yes.

7. Will I have to appear in court?
Probably not. Most eviction cases can be settled without your presence as long as you are available by phone and can e-mail your acceptance of a settlement proposal. You will be called from court to approve any settlement before it is drafted. You will usually not have to appear in Housing Court unless a trial is necessary for some other unforeseen reason. Of course, if you want to attend all court dates, you may.

8. What if I want to evict a tenant from an illegal basement apartment.
No problem. Most illegal apartments are located in two family houses being used as three family houses without the proper permits. This does not affect your ability to evict your tenant. As long as the tenant does not have a lease, a Thirty Day No Lease Holdover is the eviction process used.

9. What are your fees?
Fees vary depending on the type of case you need. You are only charged for work actually done and will be billed for each phase of the case as it happens so you will not have to pay all charges up front. Please call to get a complete fee schedule applicable to your case.

10. What else do I need to know?
There are probably lots of things you will think of as your case progresses. Clients are free to call or e-mail whenever questions or problems come up. There is no additional charge for routine phone or e-mail time inquiries.