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Landlord-Tenant & Real Estate Lawyers in New York

At the Law Office of David S. Harris, we have been representing both landlords and tenants for more than 22 years in a wide range of conflicts and we can anticipate the defenses and tactics of the other side in every case.

We can negotiate on your behalf to try to reach an amicable resolution. Sometimes the only way to get justice however, is to file a lawsuit. We can fight these battles for you. You can email us at or call us today at (718) 291-5544 to find out how we can help you.

New York is the hub of leased and rented properties. Where you have so many tenants and owners, disputes are inevitable. An experienced Landlord & Tenant lawyer can help you navigate the intricate world of Housing Court.


A New York Landlord Tenant lawyer can help.


How a Landlord & Tenant Attorney can Help You with Non-Payment and Holdover Proceedings

If you have a tenant who does not pay the rent or does not willingly vacate your property when the lease expires, illegally sublets, or is a nuisance, you might have to take legal action.

If you are a tenant, and an owner refuses to do repairs or has violated the Law we can enforce your rights.




When a tenant does not pay rent, or vacate timely, you lose money with every day that passes. We can draft and serve all the necessary documents to seek a Judgment for the outstanding arrears and possession of the premises. If a tenant has vacated before you seek Judicial intervention, we can commence a “plenary” action to enforce your rights for the unpaid past-due rent and other claims, like property damage.




In some situations, you might be entitled to a rental abatement after presenting your defenses at hearing. If you did not pay rent because the landlord breached the warranty of habitability, made unilateral modifications to the lease, or constructively or illegally evicted you through wrongful actions, we have the knowledge and expertise to help.


Dealing with Problem Tenants with the Help of a Landlord & Tenant Lawyer


Many people sign leases agreeing to abide by the terms, and then do the opposite. The tenant did not bother to read the entire lease or acted in disregard for the requirements of the document. A lease is a contract that you can enforce in Court. Problem tenants often fall into one or more of these categories:


Nuisance and Lease Violations


If you have a tenant who does not follow the rules, your other tenants can become unhappy with you and refuse to pay their rent. Here are a few examples of issues that can give rise to landlord tenant litigation:


  • Prohibited sublets. The lease says that the tenant is not allowed to sublet the property. A seemingly ideal person signs the lease and becomes a tenant. He then sublets the property to six other people who each pay rent to him. The payments of the sublessees more than cover the tenant’s rent to you, and he lives rent-free.


  • Pets. The lease might prohibit pets altogether or set limits, like the number, size, and types of pets you will allow on the property. A lease, for example, might limit tenants to no more than two pets, only dogs or cats, and weighing 25 pounds or less. The tenant must pay a nonrefundable deposit of $250 per pet. A tenant moves in with an 18-foot-long reticulated python snake that weighs over 300 pounds. Also, he denied owning any pets and did not pay the pet deposit. He is in violation of the lease.  


  • Noise. The lease should contain “quiet hours,” during which the tenants must respect the peace and quiet of other tenants. Some landlords experience problem tenants who throw loud parties until 3:00 AM and disturb other tenants and neighbors. The terms of the lease might allow the landlord to evict a tenant for repeated noise violations.


  • Unauthorized guests. Revising the sublet situation, let’s say that the lease limits the number of people living in the rented property to four. There are seven people living in the apartment. The tenant of record claims that three of them are guests, not residents. The language of the lease should define how long guests are allowed to stay. Those who stay on longer are unauthorized guests.


In any of these situations, you could notify the tenant of the infractions and allow a reasonable time to correct them, called a “cure.’ We can negotiate this matter for you. Another option, if the tenant does not comply with the terms of the lease, is to declare a lease violation, terminate the lease, and force the tenant to vacate the premises.


Working with a Landlord & Tenant Attorney on Rent Stabilization and Rent Control Conflicts


Rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments protect tenants from increases in rent because of the housing market. Currently, there is a rent freeze in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A qualifying relative or life partner may have the right to step into your shoes at some point and claim “succession rights.” You can only evict the tenants of these types of properties for specific reasons.




One of the most common complaints by both landlords and tenants is the issue of repairs. Tenants usually claim that the owner does not make prompt, high-quality repairs. Landlords say that many tenants cause expensive damage to the property through negligence or willful acts, particularly when moving out of the unit. Here are some of the disputes we handle in this area:


  • Neglect

  • Disrepair

  • Flood damage

  • Plumbing leaks

  • Damage from intentional acts or negligence


Getting Help from a New York Landlord & Tenant Attorney


A Landlord & Tenant attorney can help you navigate through the snarled mess of regulations and contracts that come into play in these disputes. At the Law Office of David S. Harris, our main focus is in the field of Landlord & Tenant Law. Whether you are a landlord who needs contracts drafted, or problem tenants evicted, we can help. If you are a tenant whose rights were violated, we can assist you in seeking Justice.


Our main office is in Jamaica Queens, New York. We have satellite locations in Long Island and Manhattan. You can email us at or call us today at (718) 291-5544 to get started.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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