Demystifying Landlord-Tenant Litigation: A Comprehensive Guide by Albert Dweck of Duke Properties

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Unlocking the complexities of New York’s intricate landlord and tenant laws is a crucial endeavor, as disputes between parties often escalate into litigation. In this insightful guide crafted by Albert Dweck from Duke Properties, we delve into the diverse legal proceedings and actions that can unfold in the realm of landlord-tenant law. From holdovers and nonpayment proceedings to rent strikes and appeals, we provide an encompassing overview of the multifaceted landscape that landlords and tenants may encounter.


Types of Landlord-Tenant Litigation:

Holdovers and Nonpayment Proceedings:

Definition: Legal actions initiated by landlords when tenants fail to pay rent or overstay their lease term.

Purpose: Regaining possession of the property.

Rent Overcharge Proceedings:

Definition: Complaints filed by tenants with the DHCR or through lawsuits when they believe they’ve been overcharged for rent.

Purpose: Seeking resolution and potential reimbursement.

Damage to Property Disputes:

Definition: Disputes arising between landlords and tenants over responsibility and costs for property damage.

Purpose: Resolving issues related to property damage.

Summary Proceedings:

Definition: A fast-track legal process allowing landlords to swiftly regain possession in cases of nonpayment or holdover tenants.

Purpose: Expedited resolution of possession issues.

Contract Actions Between Former Tenants or Landlords:


Definition: Legal disputes resulting from breaches of past agreements between parties.

Purpose: Seeking remedies for breaches of contract.

Wrongful Evictions:

Definition: Legal recourse sought by tenants who believe they have been unlawfully evicted.

Purpose: Seeking justice for wrongful eviction actions.

Yellowstone Injunction Actions:

Definition: Specific injunctions enabling commercial tenants to maintain their leasehold during disputes over alleged lease violations.

Purpose: Protecting commercial leaseholds during disputes.

Injunctive and Declaratory Judgment Actions:

Definition: Legal proceedings seeking court orders to require or prohibit specific actions and clarify rights and obligations.

Purpose: Obtaining court guidance on specific matters.

DHCR Proceedings:

Definition: Legal matters involving the DHCR, overseeing rent regulation in New York.

Purpose: Addressing issues related to rent regulation.

Rent Strikes and Appeals:

Definition: Organized tenant efforts to withhold rent payments in protest of substandard living conditions.

Purpose: Drawing attention to grievances through collective action.

Rent in Arrears Collection Actions:

Definition: Legal actions by landlords to collect unpaid rent from tenants.

Purpose: Recovering unpaid rent through legal means.

Tenant Evictions:

Definition: The legal process by which landlords remove tenants from their property.

Purpose: Regaining possession of the property.


This comprehensive list underscores the diverse issues and legal proceedings that encapsulate landlord-tenant litigation in New York. Both landlords and tenants must familiarize themselves with their rights and obligations under the law to navigate potential disputes successfully. In the face of such challenges, consulting with an experienced attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law, such as Albert Dweck, becomes crucial to safeguarding interests and navigating the complexities of the legal system.