Landlord – Tenant Disputes

There are thousands, if not more cases, being brought to Housing Court by Landlords and by tenants.  This process could be time-consuming and frustrating if you do not know what your legal ramifications are. We have prepared the most common questions and definitions from a tenant’s perspective.

Should you have a new or ongoing housing matter and would like to commence a legal proceeding against your landlord, you must bring the case to Housing Court in the borough where you reside.

What is Housing Court?

Housing Court is the proper jurisdiction and a specialty court for matters involving housing matters.

What happens if my landlord claims I owe him money?  What is this called?

This is called back rent also known as rent arrears.

What are Rent arrears?

Rent arrears is any back rent that is owed to a landlord by a tenant.

What is an Eviction notice?

The official notice that the marshal sends the tenant before evicting you.

What if I am under a dire-need situation and cannot come up with the back rent?  Can anyone help?

The answer is yes, there are several avenues and outlets that may be available to you.  Please note some of these programs or assistance is based on an eligibility criteria ie: source of income.  Some of the options you have are the following:  One-Shot Deal, Charities, or HomeBase programs. 

What is a One-shot deal?

A One- Shot Deal is assistance/grant with your rent arrears to avoid eviction.

Where can I go to apply for a one-shot deal?

If you have received an eviction notice, you can go to your local HRA Public Assistance office. You can contact 311 to find out where the closest one to you is located.

How will I know I qualify?

  • There is an eligibility criteria and reviewed case by case.   For example, Rosa has been living in her private apartment for the last 30 years and has always paid her rent on time. Her mother became very ill causing Rosa to take care of her in Croatia.  She became very overwhelmed and forgot to send her rent for two months.  Her landlord now claims she owes over $3,500.00 of rent arrears.  Rosa currently does not have the funds to pay the back rent in one shot.  You can go to your local HRA Public Assistance office and explain your situation.  Documentation will be required in order to deem your eligibility.

Here is a list of what may be needed:

  • Rent Breakdown
  • Lease
  • Proof of income for everyone in the household (proof that you can continue to pay the rent moving forward).
  • Prior rent receipts

What type of case can my landlord start in Housing Court against me?

There are two types of cases that a landlord can start, a non-payment case to collect back rent or a holdover case, to gain possession back of the unit/property.

Should you need any assistance in filing or completing paperwork related to a housing matter, please call us at (929) 263-2073 for a free consultation.