Your landlord can evict you for two reasons. The first type of situation occurs when your landlord wants to evict you for certain conduct which is illegal or which is in violation of your lease. The landlord will first have to let you know, in writing, that the eviction is coming. This type of case is called a “holdover” proceeding. In certain situations, the landlord will have to give you a chance to fix the problem before beginning an eviction case in court.
The second type of situation occurs when your landlord wants to evict you for nonpayment of rent. This type of case is called a “non-payment” proceeding. The landlord must give you a rent demand (orally or in writing) before starting the proceeding. If the rent issue is not resolved, the landlord will give you a document called a notice of petition and petition, which is the legal document that tells you where and when you need to go to court and how much rent the landlord is claiming.
Before beginning a nonpayment proceeding, your landlord must give you at least three days in which to pay the rent or move out. If you fail to pay the rent or move, your landlord can file an eviction case in court. In either case, the landlord will have to follow the law that may apply to your situation and the terms of your lease. For instance, in rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments, the landlord’s ability to evict you is limited. But, whether you are subject to rent stabilization/rent control or not, your landlord is not allowed to simply lock you out or remove your belongings from your apartment without going through a court proceeding. This is called “self-help” and is simply not permitted.
Legal Editors: Douglas Simmons and Eric Zim, July/August 2015 (updated March 2018)
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.