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Person has refused to pay rent, do I still have to give them 30 days to move out upon handing them a 3 day notice to pay or quit

New York, NY |

I have a 3 bedroom apartment. There are 2 people on the lease. We brought a 3rd person in to occupy our 3rd bedroom on a month to month to agreement which started Dec 1, 2012 (she is not on our lease). 3rd roommate never paid her security deposit within the time frame agreed, did not pay for April's rent, and provided only partial rent for May. Since she refused to pay I provided her with a notice to vacate the premises. She would not leave, the police were called and said I have to give her 30 days. Let me be clear we are not subletting, not over charging, or overcrowding our unit.

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Attorney answers 3


This scenario is unfortunately fairly common. Since your roommate is a month to month tenant, the police were correct that you must serve her with a 30 day notice of termination. If she doesn't leave at the end of that 30 day period, you'll need to go to housing court to file a Holdover proceeding against her. It's best to hire a lawyer to help you, but you can also use the court's website here:

Good luck!

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Retain a landlord tenant lawyer and do it right. If you illegally evict her, then you may face treble damages.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


Dear New York Tenant:

The three (3) day notice is a Rent Demand. Should your roommate not pay the "rent" you may commence a nonpayment proceeding. Likely, that course of action would be more difficult than "terminating" the tenancy and commencing a holdover proceeding.

A tenant does not depart in the event of a default in a rent demand. The proper form for the written rent demand requires that the tenant either pay or surrender within three days, but must provide that in the event of a default in paying or in moving out, that a summary proceeding would be brought against the tenant.

A termination notice must end the tenancy on a specific date to be proper. Since the month to month began on the first day of a month, the termination notice must be written and served at least thirty days before the end of the next end of a month. If properly served (and that means by someone other than you) in May 2013, the month to month termination notice would specify June 30, 2013 as the end date of the tenancy.

Once the tenancy is terminated be very careful about accepting rent, although in your situation, it is not likely that you will ever be paid again.

Try to use an attorney as the extra effort will spare you the anxiety of wondering what to do and whether it was done correctly.

Read more about the process for a roommate eviction at:

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.

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