New York Rent Laws
EHRCL Table of Contents

The Emergency Housing Rent Control Law of 1961 [EHRCL]

Section 5. EVICTIONS. 1. So long as the tenant continues to pay the rent to which the landlord is entitled, no tenant shall be removed from any housing accommodation with respect to which a maximum rent is in effect pursuant to this act by action to evict or to recover possession, by exclusion from possession, or otherwise, nor shall any person attempt such removal or exclusion from possession notwithstanding the fact that the tenant has no lease or that his lease, or other rental agreement has expired or otherwise terminated, notwithstanding any contract, lease agreement or obligation heretofore or hereafter entered into which provides for surrender of possession, or which otherwise provides contrary hereto, except on one or more of the following grounds, or unless the landlord has obtained a certificate of eviction pursuant to subdivision two of this section: (a) the tenant is violating a substantial obligation of his tenancy other than the obligation to surrender possession of such housing accommodation and has failed to cure such violation after written notice by the landlord that the violation cease within ten days, or within the three month period immediately prior to the commencement of the proceeding the tenant has willfully violated such an obligation inflicting serious and substantial injury to the landlord; or (b) the tenant is committing or permitting a nuisance in such housing accommodation; or is maliciously or by reason of gross negligence substantially damaging the housing accommodations; or his conduct is such as to interfere substantially with the comfort or safety of the landlord or of other tenants or occupants of the same or other adjacent building or structure; or (c) occupancy of the housing accommodations by the tenant is illegal because of the requirements of law, and the landlord is subject to civil or criminal penalties therefor, or both; or (d) the tenant is using or permitting such housing accommodation to be used for an immoral or illegal purpose; or (e) the tenant who had a written lease or other written rental agreement which terminates on or after may first, nineteen hundred fifty, has refused upon demand of the landlord to execute a written extension or renewal thereof for a further term of like duration not in excess of one year but otherwise on the same terms and conditions as the previous lease except in so far as such terms and conditions are inconsistent with this act; or (f) the tenant has unreasonably refused the landlord access to the housing accommodations for the purpose of making necessary repairs or improvements required by law or for the purpose of inspection or of showing the accommodations to a prospective purchaser, mortgagee or prospective mortgagee, or other person having a legitimate interest therein; provided, however, that in the latter event such refusal shall not be ground for removal or eviction if such inspection or showing of the accommodations is contrary to the provisions of the tenant's lease or other rental agreement. 2. No tenant shall be removed or evicted on grounds other than those stated in subdivision one of this section unless on application of the landlord the commission shall issue an order granting a certificate of eviction in accordance with its rules and regulations, designed to effectuate the purposes of this act, permitting the landlord to pursue his remedies at law. The commission shall issue such an order whenever it finds that: (a) the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of housing accommodations because of immediate and compelling necessity for his own personal use and occupancy or for the use and occupancy of his immediate family; provided, however, this subdivision shall not apply where a member of the household lawfully occupying the housing accommodation is sixty-two years of age or older, has been a tenant in a housing accommodation in that building for twenty years or more, or has an impairment which results from anatomical, physiological or psychological conditions, other than addiction to alcohol, gambling, or any controlled substance, which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques, and which are expected to be permanent and which prevent the tenant from engaging in any substantial gainful employment; or (b) the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of housing accommodations for which the tenant's lease or other rental agreement has expired or otherwise terminated, and at the time of termination the occupants of the housing accommodations are subtenants or other persons who occupied under a rental agreement with the tenant, and no part of the accommodation is used by the tenant as his dwelling; or (c) the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the housing accommodations for the immediate purpose of substantially altering or remodeling them, provided that the landlord shall have secured such approval therefor as is required by law and the commission determines that the issuance of the order granting the certificate of eviction is not inconsistent with the purpose of this act; or (d) the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the housing accommodations for the immediate purpose of demolishing them and the commission determines (i) that such demolition is to be used for the purpose of constructing new buildings or structures containing at least twenty percentum more housing accommodations consisting of self-contained family units than are contained in the structure to be demolished; provided, however, where as a result of conditions detrimental to life or health of the tenants, violations have been placed upon the structure containing the housing accommodations by the local authorities having jurisdiction over such matters and the cost of removing such violations would substantially equal or exceed the assessed valuation of the structure, the new buildings or structures shall only be required to make provision for a greater number of housing accommodations consisting of self-contained family units than are contained in the structure to be demolished; provided, further, that the commission may by regulation impose as a condition to granting the certificates of eviction that the landlord pay stipends to the tenants in such amounts as the commission may determine to be reasonably necessary, which amounts may vary depending upon the size of the tenant's apartment and whether the tenant accepts relocation by the landlord; or (ii) that such demolition is made for the purpose of constructing new buildings or structures other than housing accommodations; provided, however, that within the city of New York the commission may by regulation impose conditions (including but not limited to suitable relocation and the payment of stipends) to granting the certificates of eviction. No order granting the certificates of eviction pursuant to this paragraph shall be issued unless the landlord shall have secured such approval therefor as is required by law and the commission determines that the issuance of such order is not inconsistent with the purpose of this act. 3. The commission may from time to time to effectuate the purposes of this act adopt, promulgate, amend or rescind such rules. regulations or orders as it may deem necessary or proper for the control of evictions. It may require that an order granting a certificate of eviction be obtained from it prior to the institution of any action or proceeding for the recovery of possession of any housing accommodation subject to a maximum rent under this act upon the grounds specified in subdivision two of this section or where it finds that the requested removal or eviction is not inconsistent with the purposes of this act and would not be likely to result in the circumvention or evasion thereof; provided, however, that no such order shall be required in any action or proceeding brought pursuant to the provisions of subdivision one of this section. The commission on its own initiative or on application of a tenant may revoke or cancel an order granting such certificate of eviction at any time prior to the execution of a warrant in a summary proceeding to recover possession of real property by a court whenever it finds that: (a) the certificate of eviction was obtained by fraud or illegality; or (b) the landlord's intentions or circumstances have so changed that the premises, possession of which is sought, will not be used for the purpose specified in the certificate. The commencement of a proceeding by the commission to revoke or cancel an order granting a certificate of eviction shall stay such order until the final determination of the proceeding regardless of whether the waiting period in the order has already expired. In the event the commission cancels or revokes such an order, the court having jurisdiction of any summary proceeding instituted in such case shall take appropriate action to dismiss the application for removal of the tenant from the real property and to vacate and annul any final order or warrant granted or issued by the court in the matter. 4. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section, the state, any municipality, or housing authority may nevertheless recover possession of any housing accommodations operated by it where such action or proceeding is authorized by statute or regulations under which such accommodations are administered. 5. Any order of the commission under this section granting a certificate of eviction shall be subject to judicial review only in the manner prescribed by sections eight and nine. 6. Where after the commission has granted a certificate of eviction certifying that the landlord may pursue his remedies pursuant to local law to acquire possession, and a tenant voluntarily removes from a housing accommodation or has been removed therefrom by action or proceeding to evict from or recover possession of a housing accommodation upon the ground that the landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of such accommodations (1) for his immediate and personal use, or for the immediate and personal use by a member or members of his immediate family, and such landlord or members of his immediate family shall fail to occupy such accommodations within thirty days after the tenant vacates, or such landlord shall lease or rent such space or permit occupancy thereof by a third person within a period of one year after such removal of the tenant, or (2) for the immediate purpose of withdrawing such housing accommodations from the rental market and such landlord shall lease or sell the housing accommodation or the space previously occupied thereby, or permit use thereof in a manner other than contemplated in such eviction certificate within a period of one year after such removal of the tenant, or (3) for the immediate purpose of altering or remodeling such housing accommodations, and the landlord shall fail to start the work of alteration or remodeling of such housing accommodations within ninety days after such removal on the ground that he required possession of such accommodations for the purpose of altering or remodeling the same, or if after having commenced such work shall fail or neglect to prosecute the work with reasonable diligence, or (4) for the immediate purpose of demolishing such housing accommodations and constructing a new building or structure for a greater number of housing accommodations in accordance with approved plans, or reasonable amendment thereof, and the landlord has failed to complete the demolition within six months after the removal of the last tenant or, having demolished the premises, has failed or neglected to proceed with the new construction within ninety days after the completion of such demolition or (5) for some purpose other than those specified above for which the removal of the tenant was sought and the landlord has failed to use the vacated premises for such purpose, such landlord shall unless for good cause shown, be liable to the tenant for three times the damages sustained on account of such removal plus reasonable attorney's fees and costs as determined by the court; provided, however, that subparagraph (4) herein shall not apply to any action which does not constitute a violation of any local law providing for penalties upon failure to demolish or comply with state rent control eviction certificates. In addition to any other damage, the cost of removal of property shall be a lawful measure of damage. 7. Any statutory tenant who vacates the housing accommodations, without giving the landlord at least thirty days` written notice by registered or certified mail of his intention to vacate, shall be liable to the landlord for an amount not exceeding one month's rent, except where the tenant has been removed or vacates pursuant to the provisions of this section or of subdivision four of section ten of this act. Such notice shall be postmarked on or before the last day of the rental period immediately prior to such thirty-day period. 8. Where after the commission has granted a certificate of eviction authorizing the landlord to pursue his remedies pursuant to local law to acquire possession for any purpose stated in subdivision two of section five or in subdivision four of section ten of this act or for some other stated purpose, and a tenant voluntarily removes from a housing accommodation or has been removed therefrom by action or proceeding to evict from or recover possession of a housing accommodation and the landlord or any successor landlord of the premises does not use the housing accommodation for the purpose specified in such certificate of eviction, the vacated accommodation or any replacement or subdivision thereof shall, unless the commission approves such different purpose, be deemed a housing accommodation subject to control, notwithstanding any definition of that term in this act to the contrary. Such approval shall be granted whenever the commission finds that the failure or omission to use the housing accommodation for the purpose specified in such certificate was not inconsistent with the purpose of this act and would not be likely to result in the circumvention or evasion thereof. The remedy herein provided for shall be in addition to those provided for in subdivision one of section eleven of this act and to the tenant's action for damages provided for in subdivision six of this section.


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