In New York, a landlord may not evict a residential tenant without first bringing the tenant to landlord-tenant court and obtaining a judgment of possession and warrant of eviction.
Attempting to evict a tenant without going to court is known as a “self-help” eviction. Residential self-help evictions are illegal in New York! Illegal evictions typically occur when a landlord locks a tenant out of their apartment because the tenant hasn’t been paying rent. A landlord who engages in an illegal eviction may be liable to the wrongfully removed tenant for treble (triple) damages under Article 8 of the RPAPL .
RPAPL § 853 states:
If a person is disseized, ejected, or put out of real property in a forcible or unlawful manner, or, after he has been put out, is held and kept out by force or by putting him in fear of personal violence or by unlawful means, he is entitled to recover treble damages in an action therefor against the wrong-doer.
Additionally, a New York City landlord who engages in an unlawful eviction may be charged with a misdemeanor under the New York City Administrative Code § 26-521.
Call (516) 858-2620 for Landlord-Tenant assistance.