Frequently Asked Questions
Navigating these laws is confusing. Check out our frequently asked questions from people who have used our tool below. If you have questions about the state of housing court and the current status of eviction cases, check out Right to Counsel's FAQ pageRight to Counsel's FAQ page.
Is this free?
Yes, this is a free website created by 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.
Do I have to go to the post office to mail my declaration?
No, you can use this website to send a letter to your landlord via email or USPS mail. You do not have to pay for the letter to be mailed. If you choose not to use this tool, you will be responsible for mailing your declaration.
I have a current eviction case in NYC. How do I connect with a lawyer?
- Call Housing Court Answers at 718 557-1379 or 212 962-4795 from Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
- Call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline
- Email OCJ (Office of Civil Justice) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a name, telephone number, and Housing Court case index number for your eviction case (if known) in your email.
I’m undocumented. Can I use this tool?
Yes, the protections outlined by New York State law apply to you regardless of immigration status.
Can my landlord challenge my hardship declaration?
YES. THIS IS NEW. Landlords now have the right to challenge the validity of a tenants’ hardship declaration. To do this, landlords can file a motion with the court, stating they don’t believe the tenant has the hardship they claimed in their Hardship Declaration. If this happens, the Court will then grant a hearing to determine the validity of the tenant's hardship claim and tenants will need to show proof of the hardship they claimed in their Declaration. In NYC, tenants will be assigned an attorney through Right to Counsel for these hearings.
If the court decides that the tenant proved their hardship claim, then their case/eviction remains paused until at least January 15, 2022. The court will direct the parties to apply to ERAP if it seems like the tenant is eligible and they haven't yet applied.
If the court decides that the tenant is NOT experiencing hardship, then their case and eviction can move forward.
Who is not protected by NY's COVID-19 Tenant Protection Laws?
If a landlord claims that a tenant is a nuisance, meaning they say a tenant “persistently behaves in a way that substantially infringes on the use or enjoyment of other tenants OR that causes substantial safety hazards to others,” or that a tenant intentionally caused significant damage to the apartment, then the tenant is not protected by this law. Remember, a landlord would have to show this in court. If they can’t and the tenant filled out the hardship declaration form, then the eviction is delayed until at least January 15, 2022.
Can I see what forms I’m sending before I fill them out?
When you use our tool, you will be able to preview your filled out form before sending it. You can also view a blank copy of the Hardship Declaration form.
Is the online tool the only way to submit this form?
No, you can print out the hardship declaration form yourself, fill it out by hand, and mail/email it to your landlord and local housing court.
New York City residents can send their declarations to the court in their borough:
Manhattan Housing Court:
- Address: 111 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013
- Email: NewYorkHardshipDeclaration@nycourts.gov
Bronx Housing Court:
- Address: 1118 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456
- Email: BronxHardshipDeclaration@nycourts.gov
Brooklyn Housing Court:
- Address: 141 Livingston St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
- Email: KingsHardshipDeclaration@nycourts.gov
Queens Housing Court:
- Address: 89-17 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, New York 11435
- Email: QueensHardshipDeclaration@nycourts.gov
Staten Island Housing Court:
- Address: 927 Castleton Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10310
- Email: RichmondHardshipDeclaration@nycourts.gov
What is the time lag between me filling this out and when it gets sent?
Once you build your declaration form via this tool, it gets mailed and/or emailed immediately to your landlord and the courts. After it's sent, physical mail usually delivers in about a week.
What is the deadline for filling out the declaration?
You currently can submit your declaration form at any time between now and January 15, 2022. Once you submit your declaration form via this tool, we will mail and/or email it immediately to your landlord and the courts. If you’re ONLY sending your form via physical mail, send it as soon as possible and keep any proof of mailing and/or return receipts for your records.
Is there a way to resend the declaration if the landlord claims they never received it?
You currently cannot use this tool to send more than one declaration form. However, once you use this tool, you will be able to download a PDF copy of your declaration on the “Confirmation Page,” and you can choose to resend that declaration on your own. You should keep it for your records, in case your landlord tries to bring you to court.
I live in another state that isn’t New York. Is this tool for me?
No. Unfortunately, these protections only apply to residents of New York State.
Need additional support?
Call the Housing Court Answers hotline at 212-962-4795.
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
Available in English and Spanish.