Half the Battle is Just Showing Up: Non-Answers and Default Judgments in Non-Payment Eviction Cases Across New York State, 2016-2022

Report by Ryan Brenner et al.
January 2023

Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy   (New York)

Despite the consequences of eviction, many tenants who receive an eviction filing either fail to formally answer the filing, or do so and then fail to appear in court. The goal of this brief is to describe the prevalence of tenant non-answers and default judgments, identify trends over time between 2016 and 2022, and explore variation in these rates in jurisdictions across New York State. The authors focus on non-payment cases (those filed for non-payment of rent) rather than holdover cases (those filed for any other reason, such as lease violations), as the vast majority of eviction filings in New York State are non-payment cases.