New York Landlord Tenant Law

New York Landlord Tenant Law by LandLordStation.com

New York landlord tenant law includes some situations that are unique to the state of New York. Each state has its own set of laws pertaining to residential property leases and the relationships between landlords and tenants. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is important to be familiar with the laws of the state in which the property is located. LandLordStation.com offers a variety of information about leases and residential rental property that apply to many rental situations. Of course, we always recommend that you consult your state and local laws, or an attorney, before you enter into a rental agreement.

The NY landlord tenant law includes items pertaining to leases, rent, lease termination, safety, repairs, tenant protections, utilities and other subjects that apply to any rental situation. Information regarding the landlord tenant law New York statutes can be found at the office of the New York Attorney General or on their website. The landlord tenant laws New York mandates also covers certain types of housing in New York including rent regulated housing, rent control, rent stabilization and government financed housing.

Rent Regulated Housing

Each type of housing in the state of New York is regulated by a variety of specific Rental Boards which control the amount of rent that can be charged, any changes made in controlled status of property, and eviction parameters. It is important for a landlord to become familiar with the New York landlord tenant law and the Rental Boards that regulate each property. It is also wise for a tenant to know their rights under the laws set by each regulating board. Rent control and rent stabilization are the two types of rent regulation in New York State. If an apartment is not subject to these regulations, it is considered "unregulated." Some apartments may, however, fall under more than one category. You can find out whether an apartment is regulated or unregulated by contacting the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

Rent Control

Rent control is still in effect in New York City and parts of Albany, Erie, Nassau, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Westchester counties. If a tenant has lived in an apartment continuously since before July 1, 1971, the apartment is under rent control. Rent control laws limit the amount of rent an owner may charge for an apartment and they restrict the right of the owner to evict tenants. Each apartment that is rent controlled has a maximum base rent that is adjusted every two years to reflect changes in operating costs. This base increase can be challenged by the tenant if the landlord exceeds the legal regulated rent, the landlord is not maintaining essential services or the building has housing code violations. Any residential building constructed prior to February, 1947, may be subject to rent control. If a rent controlled apartment is vacated in New York City, and most other localities, it is completely removed from regulation, or becomes rent stabilized.

Rent Stabilization

Local Rent Guidelines Boards in New York City, Nassau, Rockland and Westchester counties set maximum rates for rent increases once a year. This protects tenants from sharp increases in rent. It also entitles them to receive required essential services and to have their leases renewed. Tenants may not be evicted except on grounds allowed by law. De-regulation can only occur under a strict set of guidelines.

Tenants covered by rent stabilization reside in three categories of buildings:

1) Buildings with six or more units built between February 1, 1947 and December 31, 1973.

2) Buildings built before February 1, 1947, who moved in after June 30, 1971.

3) Buildings with three or more apartments constructed or extensively renovated on or after January 1, 1974 with special tax benefits.

Government Financed Housing

There is a variety of government financed housing in New York and much of it is regulated under the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program. Created in 1955, the Mitchell-Lama program provides affordable rental and cooperative housing to moderate and middle income families. There are 132 limited-equity cooperative developments in New York City. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) supervises waiting lists, management issues, and has other oversight responsibilities for Mitchell-Lama developments. Additional low income developments have shared supervision by HPD and the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Public housing is a federally funded program in which state-chartered public housing authorities develop and manage public housing developments. Public housing in New York is subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations. This public housing is covered by Section 8 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program is a rent subsidy program that assists eligible low-income families in obtaining housing. Families receive a rental subsidy payment if their income falls below the limits set in the Section 8 law.

Addition types of regulated housing include housing that is regulated by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). They include:

1) Manufactured and mobile home parks:

Tenants in these housing types are also governed by New York Real Property Law § 233, popularly known as the “Mobile Home Owner’s Bill of Rights”.

2) New York City loft owners:

Loft owners and tenants are also governed by Multiple Dwelling Law, Article 7-C. The New York City Loft Board has the authority to enforce this law for the DHCR.

3) New York City residential hotel owners:

Residential hotel owners and tenants are governed by the rent stabilization laws. The DHCR has the authority to enforce compliance with this law.

Some of the rent stabilization laws include the following pursuant to New York Real Property Law § 235-e which is a partial list pertaining to the most often cited statues:

• Maximum rent increases for rent stabilized apartments are set each year by the Rent Guidelines Board.

• Landlord must file an application with DHCR for an increase.

• Rental increase may only be 1/40 of the cost of improvements on the dwelling, excluding finance charges.

• Rent adjustments for New York City apartments in any one year may not exceed 6% of tenant’s rent. Outside New York City, rent adjustments may not exceed 15% of tenant’s rent.

• Rental increases in New York City can be adjusted according to changes in the prices of various types of heating fuels.

• Senior citizen tenants (62 years of older) or who are disabled may be granted exemptions from rent increases. These increases or exemptions are governed by DHCR.

• Landlords must provide tenants in rent controlled or stabilized properties with a registration statement to be filed with DHCR annually.

• Tenants may challenge overcharges in rental for up to 4 years by filing a complaint with DHCR. Tenants are entitled to recover interest, reasonable costs and attorney’s fees. Penalty for rent overcharge is the amount an owner collected above the legally required rent, plus interest, unless the landlord has willfully overcharged. In that event, landlord can be charged up to 3 times the amount of rental plus interest plus the tenant’s costs of recovery.

Landlords and tenants in the state of New York often deal with laws and regulations that are different from other state laws and regulations. It is important to know your rights under a lease agreement.

LandLordStation.com is the source of information and assistance for both landlords and tenants. We offer a variety of services and support including a feature that allows both the landlord and tenant to ask specific questions of experts in the field of real estate management. In addition, you can find a knowledgeable and friendly support staff that is available to assist with the use of the tools and software offered at LandLordStation.com.

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