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Free Lawyers for Tenants (Universal Access to Legal Services)


Under the law, some tenants in New York City Housing Court can get a free lawyer from start to finish in the case. This depends on 3 things:

  1. Where you live
  2. Your income and how many people live with you
  3. The type of court case

Answer the questions below to see if you qualify.

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Where You Live

You can get a free lawyer if you live in one of the zip codes listed below.

Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island
10457 11216 10025 11373 10302
10462 11221 10026 11385 10303
10467 11225 10027 11433 10310
10468 11226 10031 11434 10314

If you don’t see your zip code, check back. New zip codes will be added in the future. Zip Code Finder.

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Income Eligible

Whether you get a free lawyer depends on your income and how many people live with you. You can get a free lawyer if your yearly household income is less than the amount in the chart below.

# of People in Your Home Household Yearly Income
1 $24,130
2 $32,480
3 $40,840
4 $49,200
5 $57,560
6 $65,920
7 $74,280
8 $82,640

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Type of Court Case

Only tenants with Holdover cases and Nonpayment cases get a free lawyer. Your court papers say the type of case. A nonpayment case is what an owner starts to collect rent. A holdover case is what an owner starts to evict a tenant for a different reason than nonpayment of rent. Learn more about Holdover and Nonpayment cases.

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Where to get More Information

If you qualify for a free lawyer, visit About the Universal Access to Legal Services Law to find out where to go and what services you can get.

If you don’t qualify but want information about other ways to get legal help, visit Finding Legal Assistance.

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