Explanation of New York Renters Rights

The rights of renters in New York depend on where the location of a rental unit happens to be.

Certain rights exist in New York City that may not exist in other communities.

The rights covered in the guide here are based on state laws, which may be different than local laws.

Always check with your local jurisdiction before making a final decision.

1. Rent Stabilization Is Generally In Older Buildings Only.

Outside of NYC, rent stabilization typically applies to buildings with at least 6 units that were built before 1974.

Just because a unit may be stabilized does not mean tenants do not need to receive essential services.

If the monthly rent is $2,500 or more, however, the rent stabilization is removed once the current tenant leaves the premises.

2. Security Deposits Can Be Altered.

Tenants are often required to pay a security deposit in New York, but it is generally just equal to one month of rent.

If a landlord raises the rent as allowed by law, they can also increase the amount of the security deposit that should be paid.

Landlords who place a security deposit in an interest bearing account must pay interest on the deposit.

3. Landlords Do Not Have The Right To Restrict Occupation.

Tenants in New York have the right to share the rental unit with immediate family, one additional occupant, and that occupant's dependent children if the renter is the only person named on the lease.

As long as these additional occupants use the rental unit as their primary residence, landlords cannot restrict the additional parties from living there. Landlords can limit the total number of people in an apartment.

4. Certain Renter Lease Terminations Are Permitted Without Penalty.

New York allows renters who are 62+ in age to terminate a lease if they receive a doctor's certification that their current rental unit does not meet their medical needs.

This includes the transfer to an adult care facility. Interfering with family members removing personal items in such an instance is considered a misdemeanor offense. Military personnel and victims of domestic violence also have lease terminations allowed.

Renters rights in New York cover a wide variety of topics.

These are just a few of the common questions that are asked.

If your issue is not covered here, then be sure to consult with a legal professional about what rights may be available to you in your current situation.

Posted on Mar 02, 2016


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