New York City Anti-Eviction Legal Services.
New York City sponsored Anti-Eviction Legal Services is available for tenants that have a total household income of less than 200% of the federal government poverty levels or $50,000 per year. Tens of thousands of renters across all of the New York City boroughs may benefit from this assistance program.
The goal is to reduce the amount of homelessness in the city. Many low income tenants that are struggling need some form of guidance if/when they fall behind on their rent and their landlord sends them an eviction notice. A household living close to (or in) poverty may be living on a minimum wage job or benefits, such as SSI disability or a pension. Or they may be single moms or fleeing domestic violence. A number of others are immigrants or maybe do not speak English as their primary language.
So the assistance given to them from the free Anti-Eviction Legal Services can make a major difference in their lives. Support is offered in all languages, including Spanish, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, and many others.
How the Anti-Eviction Legal Services works in New York City
As soon as the tenant is given a pay or quit / eviction notice from their landlord, they need to reach out to the Human Resources Administration. The tenant will be assigned a lawyer to work with them throughout the process. All of this is provided to them at no cost.
When applying for help, be prepared. Bring a copy of a lease as well as proof of income from all sources (a job, public aid, SSI, pensions, disability, section 8, etc.). The applicant also needs proof of residency in one of the New York City boroughs. So bring identification, including, but not limited too green papers, a driver's license, or green card. Note illegal immigrants can get referrals to either a New York City rent assistance program or some other housing program as part of the Anti-Eviction Legal Services.
Currently only about 25% of low to moderate income tenants have an attorney. About 90% of landlords have legal representation. The New York City Anti-Eviction Legal Services can bring the number of tenants with legal aid close to, if not right at 100%. It will also save the resident about $5,000, as that is the current rate to hire a housing court attorney.
Lawyers will partner with the tenant up through, including the court hearing in Housing Court. Most of the evictions can be resolved before it even gets to the court process. As it is likely that the attorney from the city is able to mediate a solution between the landlord as well as the tenant. But if a solution can not be arrived at then the Anti-Eviction program will include the court process as well.
Free eviction legal assistance for tenants
When a landlord issues an eviction notice (which may be posted on the tenant's door, delivered in person, and/or in the mail) the renter does have time to respond. The New York City Anti-Eviction Legal Services has a few possible incomes. Some of the assistance given to the low income family may be as follows.
- If the renter will never be able to afford the apartment (even at a lower rate), then the attorney may be able to negotiate more time for the tenant to be rehoused.
- If the tenant will be able to afford the home (but maybe not at the current or higher rate), then mediation may allow a more reasonable rate.
- Any back fees that are due (either for rent or a utility bill) will be discussed, and a payment plan may be negotiated.
- Anti-Eviction Legal Services also addresses any non-monetary issues, such as noise disturbances, the tenant not maintaining the home, renter not adhering to the lease terms, and more.
- When an an eviction is caused by development of the property, then the lawyer will ensure the family is able to be rehoused into a new, affordable apartment.
A the end of the process, there may be a new lease agreement arrived at. The terms and conditions will be reviewed by the lawyer that is assigned to the client as part of the Anti-Eviction Legal Services. This will help ensure that the contract is fair for both the tenant as well as the property owner. The lease will cover all concepts, ranging from early termination to maintenance responsibilities, monthly rent, and other legal obligations.
Thousands of tenants with an income at or below $50,000 per year may be eligible for Anti-Eviction Legal Services in New York City. Dial 718-557-1399 for more information.