Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

Can a tenant pay off all due rent to avoid eviction?

A tenant has missed multiple rent payments. The landlord wants to evict the tenant from the space, despite the fact that they've had no prior issues and the tenant has adhered to all of the rules in the lease before this incident.

The two go to court, and it goes to trial. Does the tenant have the option of paying off the money that is due, erasing the debt and staying in the space?

Yes. Even if the judgment is in favor of the landlord, it will likely tell the tenant exactly how much is owed. It also gives the landlord a date so that he or she knows when it will be possible to obtain an eviction warrant.

If that tenant then produces the full amount that is owed and pays off that debt, the tenant cannot be evicted. He or she gets to stay in the space.

It is worth noting that this is for an eviction case that is based on nonpayment only. There are other potential reasons for eviction. Perhaps the tenant had a dog in the apartment when the lease specifically said that no pets were allowed. The tenant could still be evicted over issues like this, and simply being up to date on the rent does not mean he or she gets to stay in the space indefinitely.

However, it's important for both parties to know that nonpayment cases can be solved this way. The landlord may still want an eviction, for instance, feeling frustrated with the process, but he or she can't get one if the back payments are made. Landlords and tenants must know all of their legal rights.

Source: NY Courts, "Evicting a Tenant," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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