One of the very first things that you need to understand as a landlord is that you cannot simply throw peoples' belongings onto the streets or change their locks because they have not paid you. To evict someone in the state of New York, you must go through the Housing Court. Otherwise, they can sue you, win substantial damages, and ask the court to order you to allow them to move back into your property.
You cannot evict a person in the state of New York until you ask to be paid and warn the tenant that you will evict her if she does not pay. You may argue that the individual knows very well how much rent is due and when, but New York law requires you to present a demand in person or in writing at least three days before you start legal proceedings.
If you do not receive your money after making a demand, you need to get the Housing Court involved. To do this, you need to fill out forms T206D, T207D, T206DC, and T216, make photocopies of them, and take the originals to the Landlord-Tenant Clerks Office. You will be required to pay for an index number.
Forms T207D and T206D must be served on the tenant. New York law generally accepts three types of service. Personal delivery, which can be carried out by a friend or process server but not by you, involves giving the documents to the tenant.
The documents may be given to someone of suitable age and discretion who lives in the apartment other than the tenant. Afterward, a copy should be sent to the tenant using standard mail and another sent using registered mail.
If no one answers when service is attempted, the documents may be left on the door only after a second attempt is made during non-working hours. The following day two copies must be sent, in the manner described above.
Following proper service, the individual who conducted this action must complete the affidavit on the back of the Form T207D and have it notarized. Then, forms T207D and T216 must be returned to the Landlord-Tenant Clerks Office. You will be sent details regarding your court hearing if the tenant replies.
To ensure that your actions are legal, you should consult with a real estate attorney. New York's eviction process can be very sensitive and if not properly executed, you could create serious problems for yourself. Furthermore, special circumstances may change the manner in which the process needs to be handled and this is likely to require legal expertise.