Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New York

Commercial Real Estate 30 day notice to move: Is that legal?

My aunt & uncle own a furniture business & just received notice from the owner's of the building that they have 30 days to move. The building's owner wants to turn it into condominiums or lofts in upper Manhattan.

My aunt & uncle were never given a lease agreement. Other tenants had month-to-month lease agreements. However, my aunt & uncle have paid the rent for the store on time, every month for the last 7 years. Thirty days is not enough time to liquidate their merchandise, pay their vendors and find a new location.

-Do the owners of the building have the right to ask them to move in 30 days?

-What can they do to get more time to find a new location and sell some merchandise to pay their vendors and any attorney fees they may incur?

-Should they file for bankruptcy in order to stop this eviction process?

Asked on 9/11/05, 3:45 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys


Re: Commercial Real Estate 30 day notice to move: Is that legal?

Most importantly, your aunt and uncle need to get a lawyer, immediately, to handle and answer ALL further correspondence and legal process from the landlord.

Their lawyer should be able to negotiate for them, sufficient time to relocate the business, whether directly with the landlord or through the Court; and help to insure that the landlord does not directly or indirectly interfere with the business and the efforts to move, in the interim.

Generally, a "prerequite" to a "Notice to Quit" or "Move" is a properly served "Notice of "Termination of Tenancy"

Then, even after the subsequent Service of the Notice to Quit or Move, if the tenant remains, the landlord must obtain Court intervention to actually remove the tenant from the premises.

For "good cause" the Court can set a more "reasonable move time," to avoid servere prejudice or injury to the parties, they may extend to a few months.

Good luck,

Phroska L. McAlister,ESQ

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Answered on 9/14/05, 8:25 am


Re: Commercial Real Estate 30 day notice to move: Is that legal?

There are a number of methods to increase the length of time a commercial tenant can remain at a location after receiving a notice such as you have described and this area of law does happen to be one of our specialties; however, we would need some more information before making a complete and proper determination. You are welcome to contact us for a free consultation.

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Answered on 9/12/05, 12:31 pm
John Corbett Corbett Law Firm LLC

Re: Commercial Real Estate 30 day notice to move: Is that legal?

Strictly speaking, your aunt and uncle are on a month-to-month tenancy and 30 day notice is sufficient to end the tenancy. Note that the convention is that the lease ends at the end of the calendar month. So they may have as much as 60 days depending on exactly when the notice was given.

There are also a number of practical things that might be done to extend this time, but these depend on the specific circumstances. I would be please to review these with you. You can get my contact information below and from my web site.

Bankruptcy is not available unless your aunt and uncle (or their business) meet the criteria for bankruptcy. That is they must either (1) have liabilities that exceed their assets or (2) be unable to pay their bills on time. To knowingly use the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code when not actually insolvent is a violation of federal law and could result in penalties.

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Answered on 9/13/05, 1:08 am

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