Can I kick out my tenants who aren’t paying rent?

Q. I have an apartment that I rent. The tenants have not been paying their rent. Can I just change the locks? Is there anything COVID-related that affects this?
A. Evicting tenants is a process that must be done through the court system. I strongly recommend contacting an attorney who specializes in landlord/tenant disputes. They will start a process through the court system, and your tenant will have the opportunity to contest it.
Until a judge rules in your favor, the tenants cannot be removed, harassed, or otherwise intimidated into moving. Additionally, as of right now, there continues to be a moratorium on evictions in the City of New York.
You might try negotiating a settlement with your tenants, e.g., offering to let them leave without having to pay the back rent.
Q. We are currently renting and have been considering a purchase. I have been hearing that people are moving out of New York. Should we wait to buy?
A. While it is often difficult to predict future markets, I can tell you from experience that the market continues to be very active.
Additionally, the COVID-19 issue is slowly being overcome with a large percentage of the population at least partially vaccinated. This will bring some “normalcy” back to the market.
The conditions are still very good if you plan to purchase now. Interest rates continue to be very low, although there has been a slight rise recently. If you consider the amount of money that you spend in the space of five years of renting, you will see that purchasing is definitely a good idea.

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