I have a great deal of experience in landlord tenant cases. I most frequently represent the landlord, who seeks to evict the tenant because the tenant is disruptive or non-paying. Until a tenant is evicted, they have the right to come up with payment if there is a lease in effect. If there is no lease, the landlord can serve a thirty day notice and file a holdover proceeding, which usually results in a fairly quick eviction. Courts do have the power to extend the tenant’s stay in the premises for up to one year to avoid homelessness, but these cases are very rare.

In these types of cases the courts uniformly extend adjournments to the tenant, so it is important to proceed aggressively and keep the systemic leeway given to the tenant to a minimum. Once the eviction is accomplished, it may be appropriate to sue the former tenant in a collection action, but only if the business tenant is still viable, if there is a personal guarantee from the principal of the business, or if the individual tenant has a job or assets known to the landlord. Otherwise, I discourage post–eviction collection litigation. The likelihood of collection without some viable information about the tenant is slim. If you cannot pay your rent, you may well be uncollectible.

Justice's scales, illustrating a website about collections services in New York State.