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How do I evict a month to month tenant in NYState

Watertown, NY |

I have a couple living in an apartment they signed a month to month rental agreement on initial move in in September 2012. They have not signed a lease since January. I wrote them an eviction notice for failure to pay rent and the apartment was completely trashed literally! bags of trash in the closet it looks like a scene from hoarders in there. They had 5 other people move in with out my consent and lie about it. What steps do i take to get them out

I gave them both an eviction notice to move out in 30 days. But they said it wast legal because I did not have it notorized. Was I wrong there. I am a new landlord and this is all new to me. They also owe me 50 dollars from last month and It's the 10th of this month and they are not giving rent because they need to save up money to get a new apartment

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Attorney answers 2


Dear Watertown Landlord:

New landlord or not, a landlord does not take legal advice from the tenant that is the object of eviction. In New York State about the easiest type of eviction lawsuit is the eviction of a month to month tenant. A landlord does not need a reason to end the tenancy. It is choice; an election to terminate the tenancy. The month to month tenancy is ended by service on the tenant of a one month notice that ends the tenancy on the last day of a rental month. If your tenant is a rent due on the first of the month tenant, then the last day of the "term" is the last day of the month. A notice served on the tenant in May 2013 would then end the tenancy, if so stated in the notice, on June 30, 2013.

There is no requirement the notarization for any form of predicate notice in any type of eviction proceeding anywhere in the state. But universal is that the landlord (a party to the proceeding) should not be the person who serves the notice. Whoever does serve the termination notice must execute an affidavit of service. Without an affidavit of service the landlord does not have a method to prove that the termination notice was served.

How about this. Save yourself the grief of learning how to become a landlord and tenant attorney and hire a lawyer. Your tenants have run you ragged. Do not confuse rent being owed with wanting to get them out of the house, or that they trashed the house with wanting to get them out of the house, or the bags of trash in the house with wanting to get them out of your house. Let your attorney sort through all the issues, prepare the proper termination notice, have the notice properly served and then bring on the eviction case when the tenants do not move out of the house.

For more information read:

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


If the tenant is behind on rent, you could speak with an attorney regarding a summary non-payment eviction proceeding.

My colleague points out that in a summary holdover proceeding, the tenant has few meaningful defenses. In a non-payment proceeding, the tenant's payment of rent is an absolute defense.

It is a wise idea to speak with a local attorney who practices real estate or landlord-tenant and discuss your options.

This communication is intended only to provide general information. No attorney-client relationship is created.