New York Landlord & Tenant Litigation: Getting a Case Started (Update)

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Course Information

Time 100 Minutes
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Litigation Landlord Tenant

Course Description

Landlord and tenant cases are often won (or lost) before the case is even filed. For landlord attorneys, myriad legal and factual issues need to be examined, understood, and dealt with in order to bring a winnable case. Tenant attorneys will learn about great defenses to use if the case does get to the litigation stage. 

This program, taught by Michelle Maratto Itkowitz, a superstar NYC landlord-tenant attorney who represents both tenants and landlords, will introduce attorneys to the beginning stages of a landlord-tenant case in NY. 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Define various occupancy relationships, such as what is a tenant at sufferance and what is a licensee, and the legal protections that apply to each
  2. Identify a variety of types of housing, including Free Market, Rent Regulated (like Rent Stabilization), Section 8 (and other benefits), Cooperatives, Lofts IMD, SRO’s and Co-Living
  3. Read a lease to prepare for litigation
  4. Develop a checklist of items to research before filing (or planning to defend against) an L&T case
  5. Recognize the differences between a summary proceeding and regular plenary lawsuits
  6. Distinguish a nonpayment proceeding from a holdover proceeding and understand when each should be utilized
  7. Draft a defensible predicate notice, including a rent demand, a notice to cure the default, or termination notice

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Michelle Maratto Itkowitz has been practicing real estate law, specializing in the area of residential and commercial landlord and tenant law in the City of New York, for over twenty years. She also is very experienced in general commercial litigation and all manner of real estate transactions. 

Michelle publishes and speaks frequently on real estate and legal issues. The groups Michelle has taught for or presented to and the publications she has written for include:

  • Lawline.com
  • The Columbia Society of Real Estate Appraisers
  • LandlordsNY
  • Lorman Education Services
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • The New York State Bar Association, Real Property Section, Commercial Leasing Committee
  • Thompson Reuters
  • The Cooperator
  • The New York State Bar Association CLE Publications
  • The Brooklyn Real Estate Summits
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • BisNow

Michelle gets quoted in the press on real estate and legal issues. Michelle produces tons of original and useful content on real estate and law and gets it out to the world in many ways – from booklets to podcasts, as well as many useful articles that can be found on her Teaching and Publishing blog. Michelle is the Legal Expert for LandlordsNY, where she answers members questions on as a guest on their blog. Michelle is developing an extensive curriculum of real estate continuing legal education videos with Lawline.com. Michelle is currently co-authoring the New York State Bar Association's New York Commercial Landlord and Tenant Law and Procedure Book and she co-authored a chapter on lease remedy clauses for the New York State Bar Association Commercial Leasing. Michelle is a pioneer of Legal Project Management, a unique and better way for lawyers and clients to work together, which you can read much more about on her website or watch a Lawline CLE on.

Michelle is admitted to practice in New York State and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Michelle’s professional associations include: the New York State Bar Association - Real Property Law Section and Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Gotham City Network - New York City Real Estate Chapter, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1989 from Union College, and a Juris Doctor in 1992, from Brooklyn Law School. Michelle is also a managing member of an executive office suite company and a founding member of an internet startup company that launched in 2012. Michelle sits on the board of directors of Building Blocs, a not-for-profit organization, and she has been honored by the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer's Project.

There are many ways to keep up with Michelle. When Michelle tweets, which is not an obnoxious amount, you cannot only actually understand what she is saying, but it is useful stuff about real estate, business, and the legal industry that you might miss between the headlines. Michelle would be happy to speak to you.