Gordon Legal understands the stresses placed upon landlords when tenants repeatedly make late payments, partial rent payments, or when tenants either fail or refuse to pay at all. Gordon Legal helps landlords and homeowners resolve nonpayment housing court cases as efficiently and diligently as the law will allow. Gordon Legal endeavors to take the stress out of the housing court nonpayment process by shouldering the burden of the technical statutory legal requirements of your nonpayment case.
Legal documents such as rent demands and petitions must be drafted with attention to legal and factual details of your nonpayment case.
As an experienced Queens Eviction Lawyer, Gordon Legal analyzes the legal and factual details of your case, drafts your legal documents, gets your legal papers filed, served and provides you with more than 20 years of legal experience to represent you in court.
Prior to starting your nonpayment case, Gordon Legal will issue a request for your tenant to pay their rent by what is called a Rent Demand. The Rent Demand informs your tenant that you want the rent and that if the tenant fails to pay, your tenant can be evicted. Gordon Legal’ s rent demand informs your tenant the months and amounts of rent your tenant owes and lists additional rent, such as utilities or taxes, that your lease says you can collect.
Gordon Legal drafts your written rent demands giving your tenant three to five days’ notice to pay, depending upon what the lease and law allows. Gordon Legal utilizes licensed process servers to serve your rent demand. Licensed process servers are required to follow strict rules and procedures to deliver your legal documents to your tenant. Gordon Legal works with you to make sure your tenant is served correctly, because if not done correctly, the Judge may dismiss your nonpayment case and make you start all over again.
If your tenant does not pay the rent by the date requested, Gordon Legal will start a nonpayment case in housing court. A housing court nonpayment case is started with legal papers called a Notice of Petition and Petition. Gordon Legal’ s Notice of Petition and Petition will tell your tenant that he or she will have to come to court and answer the petition. After service of the notice of petition and petition, a process server files the legal papers along with the corresponding Affidavit of Service with the Housing Clerk’s Office. The Court Clerk will mail postcards to your tenant informing your tenant that you started a housing court nonpayment summary proceeding. Your tenant will have to go to court to Answer the Petition in writing to provide legal reasons that the tenant thinks he or she does not owe all or part of the rent. The legal reasons are called defenses that the tenant must prove in court. The tenant may also add Counterclaims to the Answer which are claims against a landlord asking the court to order the landlord to pay the tenant money. If your tenant’s answer has a counterclaim, Gordon Legal will draft a written response to the counterclaim.
If the tenant answers the nonpayment petition, the court will place the case on the court’s calendar and Gordon Legal will appear in court on your behalf.
If the tenant does not answer the Notice of Petition before the deadline, and does not pay the rent, you can get a Judgment on Default and a Warrant of Eviction. If the tenant was not served court papers by personal delivery you cannot get a money judgment for the money you are owed but can get a judgment of possession to evict and start a civil case for the money.
It should be noted that most nonpayment cases never go to trial and are settled by Stipulation of Settlement, often called a Stip. If you and your tenant decide to reach an agreement, Gordon Legal will draft a written Stipulation of Settlement that considers what you think is fair, making sure the agreement takes care of all claims and counterclaims.
If you and your tenant cannot agree on a settlement, the Court Attorney or Judge will try to help settle the case in the Resolution Part courtroom. If a settlement still cannot be reached, there will be a trial in a different courtroom and possibly on a different court date. Before going to a Trial Part, your case is sent to an Expediter Clerk that places cases on a waiting list prior to sending ready cases to an available Trial Part often with only less than twenty minutes to appear ready in the Trial Part otherwise the case may be dismissed.
That’s why Gordon Legal’ s experienced Queens Eviction Lawyer, a trained litigator and trial attorney is always prepared and ready to vigorously and zealously represent you at trial.
At a trial, the landlord-petitioner tries to prove his or her case and the tenant-respondent tries to prove his or her defense or counterclaims. Both sides testify and show their proof to the trial judge. Both sides must be ready with all evidentiary proof on the trial date.
Gordon Legal works with you to get the evidence ready for trial. This may include witnesses, deed, lease, letters, photos, housing inspection reports, multiple dwelling registrations, and papers from government agencies such as DHCR and DHPD.
When both sides are finished explaining their respective sides of the case, the trial judge will decide and may mail the decision to be received later.
The trial Judge will decide the amount that the tenant owes, and that amount will be put in a judgment. Your tenant will have to make payment pursuant to the court ordered judgment amount and if the tenant pays timely; the case is over, and you cannot evict the tenant. If the tenant fails to timely pay; the tenant can be evicted.