How Do I Evict a Squatter From My Property in New York?

NY apartment

In New York, landlords often face the unfortunate and challenging reality of dealing with squatters — individuals who occupy a property without the owner's permission. Evicting squatters can be a complex and legally nuanced process, one that requires patience, diligence, and strict adherence to the law. In our latest blog post, we provide a comprehensive walkthrough for landlords and property managers on the proper steps to take when evicting squatters in New York, including how you can protect your rights and secure your property.

What Is a Squatter?

Squatters are individuals who occupy an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building without the legal permission of the owner. Often driven by necessity, homelessness, or protest, squatters can be found in urban and rural spaces across the globe.

Despite their unauthorized status, in some legal systems, squatters can gain rights to not be dispossessed of the property they are occupying over time. This complex issue sits at the intersection of property rights, social justice, and housing policy.

How Do Landlords Evict Squatters in New York?

The first step to evicting a squatter is to secure proof that someone is actually squatting on your property. This might involve hiring a professional to assess the situation or even installing surveillance equipment if permissible by local laws. It’s important to gather evidence, such as witness statements and photos.

If you prove that you’re dealing with squatters in New York, here are the steps you can take to legally evict them:

  • Speak with an experienced NY eviction attorney: Discuss your situation with eviction attorneys who understand New York’s eviction laws and has experience helping property owners legally evict squatters. They can examine your claim, determine its validity, and guide you through the process of legally removing squatters from your property.
  • Serve the squatters with a 10-day notice: You have the squatters served with a 10-day notice. It requests they vacate the property within 10 days.
  • Initiate the eviction process: If the squatters ignore the 10-day notice, you will likely have to file a Petition for Special Proceedings, which will begin the eviction process.
  • Court issues a summons: After you file your Petition for Special Proceedings, the court will issue a summons. The summons will be served by a process server and require the squatters to appear in court.
  • Court hearing: During the court hearing, you or your lawyer will present evidence supporting your claims and the squatters or their lawyer will do the same.
  • Warrant for possession: If the court sides with you, it will issue a warrant for possession. You must then schedule and eviction with the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff will then serve a Notice of Eviction no shorter than 14 days prior to the physical eviction
  • Have the sheriff remove the squatters: If the squatters have not left the property by the day of the eviction the Sheriff’s Office will remove the squatter, but you, as landlord must remove any of the squatter’s belongings, move them to the curb, and tarp them for a “reasonable” amount of time to allow for the squatter to arrange for their removal

Need Help Evicting Squatters? Contact Our Experienced NY Eviction Attorneys Today!

Evicting squatters is a challenging process that can be fraught with legal complexities. It is critically important to engage the proper legal and law enforcement channels to protect your property and ensure that the eviction is carried out legally.

At Letterio & Haug, LLP, our New York eviction lawyers have been guiding property owners through the process of evicting squatters for years. We understand what it takes to regain legal possession of your property and we won’t rest until we’ve exhausted every legal avenue to do just that.

For more information about how Letterio & Haug, LLP can assist you with your eviction needs, call (845) 203-0997 or contact us online today.

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