It is against the law in New York to demand additional payment from a tenant or prospective tenant in exchange for issuing or renewing a lease. Rent gouging is the term for this activity. If you solicit, accept, or agree to accept payment above the established rent with the understanding that doing so will increase the likelihood that the tenant or potential tenant will be given a lease or have their lease renewed, while not doing so will reduce those chances, you may be charged with rent gouging in the third degree under New York Penal Law 180.55.
Rent Gouging In The Third Degree Sentence
Rent gouging in the third degree is a Class B misdemeanor. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include a jail term of up to 90 days, a probation term of 1 year, payment of restitution, and payment of a fine.
The prosecution must be able to prove that you solicited or received an extra payment from a tenant or potential renter in order to boost the likelihood that they would sign a lease or have their lease renewed in order for you to be found guilty of rent gouging in the third degree. Rent gouging would not have occurred if the payment had been made for some other reason, such as a pet deposit.
New York Penal Law § 180.55: Rent Gouging In The Third Degree
When a person solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from a person some consideration of value, less than $250, in addition to lawful rental and other lawful charges, with the understanding that the provision of such consideration will increase the likelihood that any person may obtain or renew the lease, rental, or use of real property, that person has committed rent gouging in the third degree.
- Rent gouging in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 180.56
- Rent gouging in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 180.57
Hiring A New York Lawyer For Rent Gouging In The Third Degree Case
Hiring a New York lawyer for a rent gouging in the third degree case is vital when dealing with allegations of unjust rent increases. In New York, third-degree offenses typically involve moderate overcharges and are subject to strict regulations. An experienced attorney will guide clients through this legal maze, ensuring compliance with state laws, and offering adept counsel. They will gather evidence, negotiate settlements, or represent clients in court when necessary. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney is crucial to understanding the intricacies of rent gouging laws and protecting your rights, whether you’re a tenant facing unjust rent increases or a landlord facing allegations of overcharging.