Winning your eviction lawsuit does not mean your work is done or that it will be quick and easy to get the tenant out and reclaim your property. For one thing, the laws have changed, and tenants now have 14 days, rather than 72 hours, to vacate after being served. This is part of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. When the time is up, you cannot personally remove the tenant, you’ll have to get the sheriff to do it. And once the tenant is gone, you may still have their property to deal with. An experienced New York landlord/tenant attorney can guide you through this process so that you do it lawfully and are not penalized.
Removing Tenants and Their Property
New York law does not allow landlords to personally remove tenants who refuse to leave, even when you have won your eviction lawsuit, served the warrant and waited the required 14 days. If the tenant still refuses to get out, you’ll have to get the sheriff to remove them or face legal consequences.
Whether the tenant goes on their own or is removed by the sheriff, they will probably leave property behind. If it’s just trash, like old food and newspapers, you can dispose of it as part of clean-up. But if there are items of value they still belong to the tenant and you are not allowed to sell or dispose of them. Exactly how you must handle the situation is not clearly laid out in New York law, but generally, you should give the tenant 30 days’ notice to claim their property from you.
The best way to deal with abandoned property is to have a provision in the lease agreement outlining exactly how the matter will be handled.
To learn more about the eviction process and how we can help, call McPhillips Fitzgerald & Cullum LLP, or email us to schedule a consultation.