If an adult child lives with you in New York state and pays rent, you can evict her in a summary eviction proceeding like any other tenant. If she does not pay rent, you must give six months notice and use an ejectment action.
New York Eviction Procedures
New York law lets you evict tenants under many different circumstances, but and the law and the procedures are complex. Every eviction in New York state begins with a notice to end the tenancy, but the amount of advance notice and options you must give the tenant vary depending on your reasons for evicting.
Note at the outset that various cities, most notably New York City, have rent control or rent stabilization laws that alter your rights as a landlord and the ways you can proceed. The laws and procedures discussed here follow general New York state law. If you have doubts about what law and procedures apply, it's best to work with an experienced attorney.
Eviction Action Against an Adult Child
If your adult child lives with you and pays rent, she is a tenant. In this case, New York law treats your relationship as any landlord/tenant relationship, and standard eviction laws apply.
To evict your adult child, you first give her the appropriate written notice. You can use free forms from the court for this purpose, or, alternatively, purchase a form published by Blumberg Law Products called a b307 form.
The type of notice you should use depends on why you are evicting her. For example, if she has failed to pay rent, use a three-day notice to pay rent or quit. Under this notice, if she pays rent within the three days, she can stay. Likewise, if she has violated the lease terms, give her a 10-day notice to cure. If she corrects the agreement breach within 10 days, she can stay. If not, you then serve a 30-day notice of termination.
If your adult child has not done anything wrong to give you cause to evict her, you can evict without cause as long as she is a month-to-month tenant. This is a 30-day notice of termination. If she has signed a term lease, you cannot ask her to leave early unless she has done something wrong.
If she hasn't moved out when the time period is passed, file eviction papers in court. Pay the fee, and choose a court date within five and 12 days. Arrange for a third party to hand the legal papers to your child.
When you show up at the hearing, you settle the case, get a default judgment if the tenant (in this case, your child) does not appear, or go to trial. After any of these actions (assuming you win), the court gives you a judgment and a warrant of eviction. With the warrant, you can hire a marshal, sheriff or constable to perform the eviction.
Read More: How to Evict an Adult Child
Ejection Action Against an Adult Child
If your adult child does not pay rent, you must bring an ejection action instead. This is a lengthier and more complicated procedure for which you may do well to hire an attorney. According to recent New York cases, you must give a full six months written notice to quit (as required under common law) before you can bring this action.
For an ejection action, you pay the court fee and the clerk issues you a summons and complaint. Arrange for a third-party to hand a copy to your adult child who then has 20 days to file an answer. The court sets a trial date, and you appear and present your case.
Different rules apply depending on whether you use an attorney or represent yourself. Different rules apply in New York City and the rest of the state.
- Long Island Family Law and Mediation Blog: Evictions of Family or an Adult Child in New York
- Nolo: The Eviction Process in New York: Rules for Landlords and Property Managers
- New York Courts: Ejectment
- New York Courts: Holdover Notices
- New York Court: Evicting a Tenant
- Free Legal Advice: New York Evictions
- Mail any necessary notice or eviction papers to your child by certified mail; this provides you with proof if the court requires it. Keep the receipt verifying delivery.
- Make sure the server fills out the notarized affidavit of service on the back of Form X211.
- If you don't follow New York housing law when evicting your child, he can sue you, and the court can impose triple damages, as well as force you to let him move back to your home.
Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.