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What is a holdover action in New York?

Being a landlord of residential property in New York can be a difficult and time-consuming business. Issues can arise with repairs, complaints, collection of rent and, in some instances, the need to remove a tenant from the property. Understanding the concept of holdover and what it entails is important for both the landlord and the tenant.

When a landlord wants to evict a tenant for reasons other than unpaid rent, a holdover action is the primary legal remedy. For example, a holdover action is appropriate if the tenant has violated the lease by creating excessive noise or other nuisance, by refusing to vacate after the lease has expired, or by entering into a prohibited sublease. Holdover actions are generally more complex than eviction actions based on nonpayment of rent.

A landlord - tenant relationship is not necessary for a holdover proceeding. It is possible, for example, for one tenant on the lease to evict another tenant on the same lease with a holdover proceeding. Each party's rights will be determined by the lease and applicable state, federal and city laws.

Landlords have a lot to deal with in keeping their property safe and maintaining its upkeep. They have legal responsibilities to their tenants under the lease and applicable law. Tenants also have legal obligations. If the tenant fails to keep those obligations, the landlord may be justified in commencing a holdover proceeding in New York state court. When there is an issue on either side - whether it's as a landlord or resident - having experienced legal assistance can be essential.

Source: nycourts.gov, "Starting Holdover," accessed on Apr. 7, 2015

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