Kiritsis & Associates


Updated August 2021: Self Help Eviction cases: Can New York landlords re-take commercial space premises?

Aug 5, 2021

Phone # 212 922 0005 Kiritsis Law

By: John Kiritsis, Esq., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M


Before diving into any significant legal depth on this tensely charged legal topic, readers need to keep in mind that lawyers are permitted to give legal advice and NOT illegal advice.  With that in mind, it should be noted that many self-help styled evictions are in fact illegal.  A word to the wise: it is generally both illegal and economically frivolous to either break the law and/or behave irresponsibly.


Top legal items to consider.

Before gasping with confusion and/or disappointment, one needs to keep in mind, that in law, there is rarely the case, in which no proper legal defense can be erected. Vice versa, rarely if ever is the case, where a party may be totally inept in terms of options in pursuing its quest towards asserting it's legal rights. If the law in this area was not confusing enough pre-Covid 19, the recent coronavirus-related sparked law changes, may have served to add another wrinkle in the maze of NYC's landlord-tenant legal framework. If a self-help styled eviction was illegal pre-Covid 19, then in all likelihood it may still be illegal. In the reverse, if a self-help styled eviction may have somehow been legally permissible pre-Covid 19, then now there may be an increased chance that such equivalent action would be held as illegal.


Focus on key legal concepts.

Needless to say, but landlords who are construed to have conducted or even attempted to carry on an illegal eviction, could be subject to both civil and criminal type of legal liability exposures. A gray area with regards to this legal subject, often revolves around so called self-help style evictions. Although, the rules prohibiting such actions in residential type of premises tend to be very rigid -- their functioning equivalent, as far as, commercial use premises are concerned, may be somewhat more lax. Even in cases, where landlords may appear to have the law on their side, the practical realities are if dealing with even a moderately well financed and/or particularly vindictive commercial tenant, self-help style evictions may end up being a very expensive proposition in a long protracted litigation fight.  Remember, in the U.S. everyone can generally sue anyone over anything.


List of some useful citations and possible references could include:

– U.S. Constitution

– New York Constitution 

– New York Real Property Law

– New York General Obligation Law (NY GOL)

– New York Condominium Act

– New York Business Corporation Law (NY BCL)

– New York Limited Liability Company Law (NY LLC Law)

– New York State Bar Association

– New York City Bar Association

– COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020

– HSTPA of 2019

– Bankruptcy Code

– Internal Revenue Code

– Covid-19 Emergency Protect our Small Businesses Act of 2021

– New York Uniform Commercial Code Laws (NY UCC)

– New York Lien Law

– New York Landlord-Tenant Law

– New York City Housing Court

– New York Small Claims Court

– New York Supreme Court

– NYS Appellate Court

– NY Appellate Division

– New York Court of Appeals

– U.S. Supreme Court

– New York State Executive Laws Section 296

– NYC Board of Standards and Appeals

– New York Real Estate Finance Bureau

– Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (UULURP)

– New York City Planning Commission

– Department of Buildings

– Department of Finance

– New York City Council

–New York State Assembly

– Martin Act

– SBRA (Small Businesses Reorganization Corporation Law)

– New York Labor Law Section 2408241 (Scaffolding Law)

– New York Assembly Bill No. A2554

 – Federal & New York State Case Law.


212 922 0005


Law Offices of Kiritsis & Associates

Phone # 212 922 0005

Manhattan Office (Main Office):

633 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Suite 1306

Brooklyn Office (By Appointment Only):

1023 74th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11228

1st Floor

New Jersey Office:

7309 Ventnor Avenue

Ventnor, NJ 08406

2nd Floor






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Phone# 212-922-0005

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