Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

Under state law, most evictions for nonpayment of rent can​not take place until January 1, 2021. Tenants may have protections under either or both New York State Law and an order from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) Tenant Help Line is available to answer questions about your tenancy and whether the orders or law may apply to you, and to connect you with free legal assistance through the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice.

In addition, under a new State law, if you have experienced a financial hardship any time between March 7, 2020 and the date that all COVID-related safety restrictions are lifted in the region, you may not be evicted for failing to pay rent first owed during that period.

Eviction cases filed on or before March 16, 2020 (pre-COVID) may proceed, but if you received an eviction notice before March 16, 2020, your landlord must file a motion and get permission from the court to evict you. If you receive a motion like this, or if you receive a warrant of eviction, HRA’s Office of Civil Justice can provide free legal assistance to help you with your case. You can contact the City’s Tenant Helpline to connect with free legal help.

Eviction cases filed on or after March 17, 2020 are on hold until further notice. Any tenant who receives a petition for a Housing Court eviction case does not need to go to the courthouse to respond in person. If you have received an eviction petition or other Housing Court papers, you can connect with the City’s Tenant Helpline for free legal help.

You cannot be evicted for nonpayment or any other reason unless the court has issued a Warrant of Eviction. Only a Marshal or Sheriff can carry out a warrant and remove tenants from their home. Landlords cannot lock out tenants.

If you are in an immediate housing crisis or need eviction prevention services, please visit the Eviction Prevention and HomeBase page.

Your landlord can still collect rent as scheduled, and if you can pay your rent, you should continue to do so.  If you need help paying rent, go to the Public Assistance or Welfare page.

If you have questions about the eviction moratorium, the COVID financial hardship law, or other legal issues, you can contact the City’s Tenant Helpline. The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) can help you with questions about your tenancy and connect you with free legal assistance through the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice. For more information, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Tenants page.

Office of Civil Justice (OCJ)

The City's Office of Civil Justice (OCJ), a unit of the Human Resources Administration (HRA), provides a range of free legal services to New Yorkers in need. If you are facing eviction, if you need help with an immigration matter, if you are a worker facing wage theft or other workplace violations, or if you are facing other legal challenges, you may have access to free legal assistance through OCJ.

OCJ legal services are free and you do not have to be an existing HRA client to apply.

Legal services are available regardless of immigration status.

Online

Learn more about OCJ and free legal services.

Email

civiljustice@hra.nyc.gov

New York City Bar Association

You can get legal assistance and lawyer referrals. Cases handled include:

  • Accidents and medical malpractice
  • Criminal defense
  • Employment discrimination and wage disputes
  • Immigration
  • Marriage and family-related cases
  • Property, landlord, and tenant disputes
  • Wills, trusts, estates, and insurance issues
  • Workers compensation and work-related injuries

Online

Get free legal advice from LawHelp.

Request a lawyer from the New York City Bar.

By Phone

  • Agency: New York City Bar Association
  • Division: Lawyer Referral Service
  • Phone Number: (212) 626-7373
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Assistance is also available in Spanish.

To learn about other kinds of help for immigrants, visit the Immigration and Citizenship page.

Community-based organizations provide seniors age 60 and older with legal assistance.

Use Site Finder to search for a Legal Service Provider.

In you are a tenant, you may also want to get help for specific situations. Visit the Eviction Prevention and HomeBase or Tenant Harassment page if needed.

Veterans can get free legal assistance and referrals by phone.

Veterans can also get help with discharge upgrades, disability claims, and benefits.

Call 311 for assistance.

A living will is a legal document created by an attorney that specifies your health care instructions. This document may also appoint a health care representative to make health care decisions on your behalf.

A health care proxy is a trusted person you select to make health care decisions for you. To learn more, visit the Health Care Proxy page.