Chronic Late Payer Can Be Evicted

The tenant usually paid rent late in the month. He continued to make late payments despite the landlord’s repeated service upon him of three-day notices for non-payment of rent and several notice of petitions and petitions commencing non-payment eviction proceedings. Rather than continuing to serve three-day notices and petitions, the landlord commenced a nuisance hold over eviction proceeding.

The tenant moved to dismiss the eviction, claiming that the repeated late payments did not constitute a basis for a nuisance proceeding. The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Term, First Department held that chronic late payment and non-payment of rent may constitute a nuisance warranting eviction if not adequately explained by the tenant.

A tenant’s personal financial difficulties do not constitute an excuse for failing to timely pay rent. The type of excuse that would adequately explain a tenant’s late or non-payment of rent usually must pertain to some failure on the part of the landlord, warranting a withholding of rent by the tenant, such as for a landlord’s breach of warranty of habitability or quiet enjoyment.