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Real estate lawyer

Woodside, NY |

I signed a lease for a friend 2 years ago and now I don't want to deal with this person. I have requested him to empty the apartment several times and he has not moved out. He is paying the rent but now the lease has expired as of this month. I am not signing the new lease for him and have told the landlord that I am not staying there anymore This friend is not moving out and the landlord had told me if he doesn't move out they will take me to court and I will be in trouble. How do I get this person out in NYC. Thanks Perry

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Attorney answers 2


Your rights and responsibilities with respect to a lease of real property are established, initially, by the terms of the lease agreement which you signed. The standard residential lease agreement typically obligates the tenant to deliver possession of the leased premises to the landlord at the end of the lease term, in the same condition the premises were in at the start of the term (reasonable wear and tear excepted). It also typically obligates the tenant to pay the landlord's legal fees and costs should the landlord have to bring a lawsuit to evict the tenant, collect rent, or enforce other terms of the lease.
Assuming that your lease contains these standard provisions, you were obligated to deliver the possession of the leased premises to your landlord at the end of the lease term, in vacant and broom clean condition. Because you did not do that, your landlord now has the right to bring an eviction proceeding against you (and your friend, if he chooses) and he may recover in that proceeding not only the reasonable legal fees and costs he incurs, but also the reasonable use value of the apartment for the time your friend holds over in possession of it. To avoid this, you should consult promptly with a NYC attorney who is experience with housing court matters of this nature and explore with him or her the following possible options for resolving your problem: (a) bring your own eviction proceeding against your friend, so that you can obtain the possession of the apartment and then deliver it to your landlord; or (b) try to negotiate a deal with your landlord, pursuant to which he will bring the eviction proceeding against your friend and , in turn, you will pay both his actual legal fees and costs (up to, but not exceeding, an agreed maximum amount) and the agreed reasonable use value of the apartment during the time it takes to complete the eviction (again, up to, but not exceeding, an agreed maximum amount); or (c) try to negotiate a "cash for keys" deal with your friend, pursuant to which he will voluntarily--and promptly--surrender the possession of the apartment to you, in good condition, in return for which you will pay him an agreed amount of money. I don't know your friend, of course, but if I were you, I would probably try the "cash for keys" option first, as it might well be the quickest and cheapest option available to you.
Good luck.
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Dear how do I get this person out?

You received a thorough answer from the first attorney.

You cannot do this alone and you will need an attorney, because the facts you described are not typical and your remedies might be limited.

You must retain an attorney to either defend you in the landlord's holdover proceeding (if the landlord continues to accept rent from your "friend" and you have turned in your keys, and the lease expired, the landlord might create a new tenancy with your "friend", albeit a month to month tenancy, in which circumstance, your attorney will defend you on the grounds your do not have a landlord and tenant relation with the former landlord) or represent you in some manner of lawsuit against your "friend."

Unless the landlord is willing to enter into a lease with your friend, you may be viewed as a "holdover" tenant (that is the landlord's point of view) or as a person with no legal right to possession of the apartment (your "friend's" point of view.) As a holdover tenant, you may formally surrender possession in favor of the landlord, the court will enter a judgment for possession against you and a warrant to evict you from the apartment. If your "friend" has an attorney, your "friend" will be left alone to defend the holdover proceeding. Once you have surrendered to the landlord, you no longer have a superior claim to the apartment versus your "friend" and will not be able to evict him.

If you bring your own case for possession against the "friend" you have an issue, because you are no longer entitled to possession of the apartment - - the lease is over, you did not renew, you are not in possession, and you are not paying rent to the landlord.

Read more about the process involved in a landlord and tenant summary proceeding 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.