Fifteen years ago, on Aug. 10 2005, the authors wrote an article for this newspaper titled “Self Help Evictions: The Neglected Commercial Remedy.” www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/almID/900005434523/selfhelp-evictions/. Since the publication of this article, it has been unanimous by all lower and appellate courts that self-help evictions are enforceable. As of the time of this writing, commercial judicial evictions are banned but extra-judicial evictions such as self-help are not only being used as an effective way to evict a commercial tenant but have been the only means since the pandemic started to garner a legal eviction.
This article addresses and updates the law on the self-help remedy 15 years later that enables commercial landlords to regain possession of leased premises from tenants in material breach of one or more lease covenants. As demonstrated below, courts continue to enforce its proper use, as it provides a useful and available means for landlords to regain immediate possession of rental property despite the pandemic and governmental moratoriums and court rules restricting the commencement of summary commercial eviction proceedings.
Limits on Government Power to Halt Evictions
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