Landlord Tenant Law In The State Of New York

by ECL Writer
Landlord Legal Responsibilities in New York

Due to its higher-than-average rental prices when compared to other states, New York is regarded as a landlord-friendly state. It’s important for landlords to recognize and evaluate rent control clauses in their lease agreement contracts because the state is also known for being tenant-friendly and having a high proportion of such clauses. It’s common for a landlord to be overawed by the amount of information that might be included in a lease agreement, which can cause misunderstandings and legal problems.

In this post, will outline all you need to know about Landlord Tenant Law In the State Of New York. How they operate in particular situations and other crucial information that every landlord should be aware of before leasing their properties and many other things.

New York Landlord Tenant Responsibilities And Right

While state-by-state landlord-tenant regulations can differ, there are some common guidelines that landlords and tenants in New York must abide by for the term of a lease. As long as they don’t conflict with the “Fair Housing Act” or the “New York State Division of Human Rights,” landlords are permitted to impose their own restrictions on a given property.
The landlord is responsible for making sure the rental property is habitable and in good condition when it comes to a lease. The landlord typically cannot remove a tenant if the apartment is uninhabitable and they are not paying rent since they have a duty to maintain livable conditions.

Additionally, if a tenant files a reasonable request for a repair, the landlord is required to reply. Tenant has the option to withhold rent, use their “Repair and Deduct” rights, or seek legal counsel if the landlord does not make the necessary repairs. They can fix the problem on their own and subtract the expense from their upcoming rent payments if they exercise their right to repair and deduct. The courts typically favor with the tenant if they had a reasonable repair that you should have done, despite the landlord’s temptation to resist this.

In general, here are the following things that every landlord must provide:

  • Good plumbing conditions.
  • The electrical outlets are in good condition.
  • Protection against bugs, vermin, and mold (exterminator, etc…)
  • Secure windows and doors.
  • Cold water (applicable for multiple dwelling units).
  • Hot water (with a minimum temperature of 120 degrees. Applicable for multiple dwelling units).

Similarly, landlords can have the authority to access rented properties in an emergency, deduct damages from security deposits, and more. It’s crucial for landlords to review their local legislation because certain areas, like New York City, have their own unique laws and rules.

Tenant Rights And Responsibilities

Overall, tenants in New York are responsible for:

  • Paying rent on time
  • Keeping the unit in good condition
  • Keeping the property clean on the inside and outside
  • Maintaining the unit (like changing their AC filter)
  • Keeping the utilities in good working condition
  • Not disturbing their neighbors (no noise complaints for example)
  • Tenants, on the other hand, are free to use their housing rights whenever they see fit. This includes the right to reside in a livable apartment and protection for tenants against harassment, retribution, and other forms of discrimination.

Are Lease Agreements Required In New York?

In order to maintain a positive connection between landlords and tenants throughout the duration of the lease term, lease agreements seek to set specific norms and restrictions. These contracts must include crucial information, such as leasing regulations, landlord and tenant obligations and rights, as well as other legal specifics, in accordance with New York’s real property laws.

A lease agreement must be established in accordance with New York landlord-tenant law if the tenant is renting for a duration greater than 12 months. It is nevertheless advised that the landlord create paperwork to prevent legal problems even if they intend to lease their home for a shorter period of time. Lease agreements may be delivered verbally or in writing. But because it gives an additional layer of security, written agreements are preferred by the majority of New York landlords.

Rent Payment Laws In New York

Rent laws in New York are set by the state government and can vary depending on the type of rental property and the city or county in which it is located. In general, landlords in New York are required to provide tenants with written notice before raising the rent. The amount of notice required varies depending on the type of tenancy, with longer notice periods required for longer-term tenants.

New York City has its own rent stabilization laws, which apply to apartments in buildings that were constructed before 1974 and have six or more units. Rent increases for these apartments are limited by the Rent Guidelines Board, which sets the maximum amount that landlords can increase rent each year. Tenants in rent-stabilized apartments also have certain protections against eviction, including the right to a lease renewal and the right to take their landlord to housing court if they feel that their landlord is trying to evict them without a valid reason.

It is important to note that some regulations are changing as of 2021-2022 by the new government. And the specifics of rent laws can change over time. It is advisable to check with local authorities or legal professionals for recent updates
In general, tenants are expected to pay their rent on time, and landlords are allowed to charge late fees if rent is not paid on time. Additionally, nonpayment of rent can be grounds for eviction, although landlords must follow a specific legal process in order to evict a tenant.

Rent Control In New York

Rent control is a type of government regulation that limits the amount by which landlords can increase the rent on certain types of rental properties. In New York, rent control applies to apartments in buildings that were constructed before 1947 and have six or more units. These apartments are known as “rent-stabilized” units.

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) is a New York City agency that sets the maximum amount that landlords can increase rent each year for rent-stabilized units. The RGB sets the limits based on the Consumer Price Index and other factors. Landlords are also required to register their rent-stabilized units with the RGB and provide tenants with a copy of the RGB’s order.

Tenants in rent-stabilized units have certain protections against eviction, including the right to a lease renewal and the right to take their landlord to housing court if they feel that their landlord is trying to evict them without a valid reason. Landlords must also follow strict guidelines for deregulating rent-stabilized units.

It’s important to notice that rent control laws are changing, especially in the wake of the covid pandemic, and laws vary in other municipalities in New York State, outside of New York City. It’s always advisable to check with local authorities or legal professionals for recent updates or specific information.

Late Fees

A landlord has the option to impose a late fee in the event of late rent. Although there are no restrictions on how much a landlord can charge, it should always be fair.

Grace Periods For Rent In New york

Grace periods for rent in New York are a specific period of time in which a tenant may pay their rent without incurring a late fee or other penalties. The length of the grace period, if any, will be specified in the lease agreement between the landlord and the tenant.

In New York City, there is no specific state-wide requirement for landlords to provide tenants with a grace period for rent payments. However, many landlords do choose to provide a grace period as a courtesy to their tenants. For example, a landlord may choose to give tenants a 5-day grace period, meaning that rent is due on the first of the month, but a tenant will not be charged a late fee if they pay their rent by the fifth of the month.

It’s important to note that not all landlords offer grace periods and it’s a matter of negotiation, if it is included in the lease agreement it should be respected. And, as always, the local laws may vary and it is recommended to check with local authorities or legal professionals for recent updates or specific information regarding the matter.

Security Deposit Law For Rent In New York

Security deposits are a common requirement for renting an apartment or other residential property in New York. The laws for security deposits in New York are set by the state government and can vary depending on the type of rental property and the city or county in which it is located.

In New York, landlords are allowed to charge a security deposit to tenants at the start of a tenancy. The amount of the security deposit can vary, but it cannot exceed the equivalent of one month’s rent. For example, if the rent for an apartment is $1,500 per month, the landlord cannot charge more than $1,500 for the security deposit.

Landlords are required to keep security deposits in a separate, interest-bearing account and return the deposit to the tenant at the end of the tenancy, less any damages or unpaid rent. Landlords must provide tenants with a written statement of any damages that are claimed from the deposit and itemize any charges.

The security deposit must be returned within 14 days after the tenant has moved out, if the landlord intends to claim any portion of the deposit, they have to give the tenant a written notice of their claim within that time frame as well. Also, there are some exceptions, for example, in New York City, the security deposit must be returned or the tenant is given an accounting of any deductions within 21 days after the tenancy ends.

It’s important to note that these regulations are subject to change, so it is advisable to check with local authorities or legal professionals for recent updates or specific information.

Early Lease Termination & Eviction Laws

According to New York landlord-tenant law, the landlord may send the tenant an eviction notice for the following reasons:

  • Criminal Activity
  • Lease Agreement Breach
  • Late Fees or Nonpayment of Rent
  • Tenants often require 30 days’ notice before being evicted. While a 30-day notice is the most typical situation, some renters may receive a 60- or 90-day notice, depending on how long they had the rental agreement (normally, 60 days if they had a longer rental agreement than a year).
  • If a lease contains a renewal option, tenants may also choose to end their arrangement before the term expires or renew it. For monthly leases, the tenant is required to provide a 30-day notice. However, in the majority of situations, the landlord must consent to the lease renewal.

In the case of early termination, tenants may choose to terminate the lease before it expires for the following reasons:

  • Active military service.
  • Poor housing conditions.
  • Domestic violence or harassment claims

Lease Agreement Disclosures

Security Deposit Location

The “General Obligations Law” mandates that landlords disclose the location of the security deposit storage. It’s crucial to remember that a landlord cannot combine the security deposit with other personal funds in New York.

Lead-Based Paint

If a rental unit was constructed between 1960 and 1978, New York state law mandates that landlords disclose any information regarding lead concentration areas.

Authorized Parties

Landlords must give details of all the parties involved in the rental agreement. This usually includes contact information and addresses.


Housing Discrimination

Both the Fair Housing Act and the New York State Division of Human Rights protect tenants from discriminatory behavior against them. This includes protection for tenants regardless of their race, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.

What You Need To Know

To avoid legal conflicts, both landlords and tenants must make sure that they get along well during the lease. Making ensuring that the lease agreement complies with general tenant-landlord law in New York state, the Fair Housing Law, and the New York State Division of Human Rights is the best approach to accomplish this.
To understand more about housing and rental legislation in your area, speak with a local real estate property manager or attorney.

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