Sometimes tenants face eviction because a landlord wants to occupy the tenant’s apartment for herself or a family member. These are commonly referred to as owner occupancy or owner use eviction cases. An owner’s use case is when a landlord seeks to evict a tenant from their rent regulated apartment based upon a claim that the owner wants to live in the apartment as his or her primary residence. In these instances the owner may refuse to renew the lease of a rent stabilized tenant or apply to The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to evict a rent controlled tenant.
Even long-standing tenants, who have lived in their NYC apartments for many years, and have spotless records as tenants, may find themselves served with a notice to vacate the apartment on these grounds. These cases can be very unsettling for tenants who, while they do not own their apartment, think of it as home, are not ready or perhaps able to move, and feel they have done nothing wrong to warrant an eviction.
Often, the landlord’s case will depend upon her account of how she wants to use the apartment. While some owner uses are permissible under law, others are not. It is critical to have a New York City tenant attorney who can scrutinize the landlord’s story and also determine if the landlord’s owner-use eviction case rests on solid or shaky legal grounds.
For a summary of the rules, see the New York State Homes & Community Renewal fact sheet on Eviction from an Apartment Based on Owner Occupancy.
If your NYC landlord is trying to evict you claiming that he or she wants the apartment for their own use, you must contact an experienced tenant attorney such as the Law Offices of Attorney Eric Feinberg.