Are you facing eviction in Housing Court or are you facing foreclosure in Supreme Court? Are you facing eviction in NYCHA housing, or trying to sue for repairs? Do you need help on other housing issues? Are you homeless? You may be eligible for free legal assistance.
The fastest way to see if you qualify for free legal assistance in a housing matter is to call The Legal Aid Society neighborhood office in your borough:
Staten Island: 347-422-5333
If you are homeless, call the Homeless Rights Project helpline at 800-649-9125 Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If you are a member of a tenant group/association or want information on starting a tenant group/association, or if you are an HDFC coop board member or shareholder, call the Housing Justice Unit-Group Advocacy helpline at 212-577-7988 Monday – Friday 10 a.m. -4 p.m or email HousingGrpAdv@legal-aid.org.
If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, call the Foreclosure Prevention Project at 718-298-8979 for Queens and 646-340-1908 for the Bronx. Please leave a message with your name and phone number and we will return your call within 24 hours. Due to COVID-19 our offices and court walk-in clinics are currently closed. If you are a Bronx homeowner, you may also utilize our online intake form.
As of June 1, 2021, funding is available for New York City households who are behind in their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible households may have up to 12 months of their back rent paid and may be able to get three months of future rent, as well as other assistance.
The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) must adjust their rules and procedures so people with disabilities can have equal access. If you have a disability and need DHS shelter, DHS must give you what you need to use DHS shelter and services. There are many different RAs that DHS can give you, depending on what you need because of your disability.
From now until at least May 1, 2021, NYC tenants who meet the requirements below are eligible for HRA’s Family Homelessness Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) program before your landlord takes you to court to evict you for nonpayment of rent. FHEPS can pay ongoing rent (and back rent owed) for families with children who receive cash assistance and are facing eviction. Immigrant families may be eligible. Tenants can start the application process in one of four ways.
A step by step guide to getting out of your lease or rental agreement.
If you or someone you know speak a language other than English, you have the right to request an interpreter and possibly documents in your preferred language from The Department of Homeless Services.
If you currently reside in a homeless shelter, you may be eligible to have the Human Resources Administration (HRA) pay the fees for your furniture and belongings held in a storage unit.
Families with minor children or pregnant women apply for Department of Homeless Services shelter at PATH (Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing) in the Bronx and must undergo an eligibility process to prove that they are homeless.
When you apply for shelter, you will have to prove where you lived for the past two years. If you have trouble proving your housing history, PATH may say you are “ineligible,” which means they do not think you have completed all of the steps to qualify for shelter.
You have the right to a clean and sanitary shelter unit. That means it should be in good repair and not have a problem with mice, rats, or bugs.
There are several steps you must take if you plan to sue DHS for civil damages. While Legal Aid does not represent clients in this type of case, here is some general information about how to bring your case.
If your shelter lost or damaged your stuff, you can file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court for up to $10,000.
The lender of your mortgage loan may contract with another company to service your mortgage. This company is called a mortgage servicer. It does not own your loan but is the company to which you send your monthly payments and which you contact if you have any questions about your account. During the term of your loan the mortgage servicer may change several times.
Broken lease cases generally occur when you vacate your apartment prior to the end of your lease term, and thus you “break” your lease. They are post-possessory (after you’ve left the apartment) lawsuits brought by landlords in New York City Small Claims Court, Civil Court, or Supreme Court, for alleged rent arrears, attorney’s fees, and other tenancy-related charges. They also occur when landlords try to collect on money judgments obtained in Housing Court or concurrent with Housing Court lawsuits.
What you need to know about the process of forclosure and what rights you have as a property owner.
Foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams are on the rise. They target and exploit home owners with false promises to reduce or even eliminate mortgage payments, repaid their credit or trick homeowners into signing over their deed. Frequently, scammers charge exorbitant fees in violation of existing laws.
If you have received an eviction notice from a marshal, you are at risk of having your locks changed and your belongings removed.
In New York City, the law gives all residential tenants the right to a safe, decent, and sanitary living space. This right, commonly referred to as the warranty of habitability, is implied in every written or oral lease and applies to the room or apartment rented as well as the public areas of the building.
Succession rights permit certain occupants of a rent-regulated apartment to lawfully become tenants of the apartment when the tenant of record (the person named on the lease) dies, permanently leaves or surrenders rights to the apartment.
“Harassment” is any act or failure to act by a landlord or a landlord’s agents that causes or is intended to cause any person legally entitled to live in a room or apartment to give up their room or apartment, or any rights related to their tenancy. In New York State, tenant harassment can be a felony or misdemeanor. In New York City, tenant harassment is also a housing code violation, and tenants can sue their landlord in Housing Court if they are being harassed.
In New York State, a lender must start a legal action in Supreme Court and get a court order to foreclose against an owner who has not paid the mortgage. The owner is legally allowed to collect rents and make leases until the foreclosure ends in an auction, when the building is either sold to a new owner or retained by the lender.
The justice system can be overwhelming. Get familiar with some legal terms and acronyms you might hear like appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, deposition, and affidavit.
Last Updated: 18 September 2019
2021 The Legal Aid Society. All Rights Reserved