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New York Landlord-Tenant Laws

New York Landlord Tenant LawsThis article is intended to be an online resource for New York landlords.  We summarize key New York Landlord-Tenant laws that are most applicable to residential rental units.

This article is not qualified for legal advice.  Individuals seeking guidance need to work with a legal advisor who is qualified in the jurisdiction.  New York Landlord Tenant Laws and statutes may vary from county to county or city to city, this article provides state-level laws and statutes. 

Also, laws and statutes are subject to change and may cause sections of this article to be outdated.  We provide links to assist landlords and tenants to the state statute page for further research.

Click here if you are seeking renters insurance in New York.

 

Quick Facts for Real Estate Investors Considering New York

New York landlord-tenant laws are considered Landlord-friendly.

There are 19.4 million residents in New York.  Major metropolitan markets in New York are:

  1. Albany: Estimated population of 880,381, which 36% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $968.
  2. Binghamton: Estimated population of 238,691, which 32% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $742.
  3. Buffalo: Estimated population of 1,135,509, which 34% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $772.
  4. Elmira: Estimated population of 83,456, which 33% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $820.
  5. Glens Falls: Estimated population of 126,367, which 26% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $826.
  6. Ithaca: Estimated population of 102,180, which 45% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $1,120.
  7. Kingston: Estimated population of 177,573, which 30% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $1,077.
  8. New York: Estimated population of 14,668,376, which 48% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $1,379.
  9. Rochester: Estimated population of 1,069,644, which 33% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $870.
  10. Syracuse: Estimated population of 648,593, which 33% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $821.
  11. Utica: Estimated population of 289,990, which 32% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $712.

 

 

SECURITY DEPOSIT LAWS IN NEW YORK

 

Does New York require security deposits? 

New York does not require security deposits, however, if accepted then there are laws and regulations.

 

Is a security deposit receipt required in New York? 

New York requires landlords to provide tenants with a written receipt for deposit.  The receipt must include the name and address of the banking institution/organization where the deposit is being held.  As well as the amount of the deposit.  (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2))

 

How much security deposit can a landlord charge in New York? 

New York states landlords cannot exceed an amount equal to 1 month’s rent.

 

 

Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in New York: 

Landlords must keep all deposits at a banking institution within the state of New York.  The name and address of the banking institution must be disclosed.

 

 

Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in New York? 

Landlords cannot commingle deposits with their personal funds.  As well, landlords cannot attempt to use the money. (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2-a))

 

Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in New York? 

New York determines interest based on the number of rental units on the property.  (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2-a))

  • 6 or more:  Landlords must pay interest to the tenants.  Interest rates must be equivalent to similar deposits in the same geographic area.  Landlords can collect a 1% administration fee.
  • Less than 6 units:  Landlords are not required to pay interest

 

 

When must a landlord return the deposit by in New York? 

Landlords must return the security deposits within a “reasonable time”.  However, New York courts have stated 14 days as “reasonable time” after the tenant vacates the premises.

 

When can a landlord in New York withhold a security deposit?

At the end of a lease, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit.  However, landlords may withhold all or portions of a tenant’s security deposit for:

 

  • Unpaid rent and/or fees
  • Tenant’s noncompliance of the rental agreement or statutory Tenant Duties
  • Damages beyond normal wear-and-tear

 

 

 

Nonrefundable fees: 

No Statute.

 

Pet Deposits and Additional Fees:

No Statute.

 

Require a written description / itemized list of damages and charges?

Landlords are not required to provide a written and itemized list of damages.  It is typically a good practice to keep all records to detail costs.

 

 

 

 

 

RENTAL AGREEMENT LAWS IN NEW YORK

 

Rental agreements required in New York:

Rental agreements are required for leases 12 months or longer.  We always recommend having a legal lease agreement to prevent future complications.

If you need a lease, Burbz offers an online New York rental lease agreement.

 

What are the required lease provisions in New York?

New York requires certain provisions to be included in the lease agreement.  Besides both the landlord and tenant names, the landlord should also list:

  • Must:  Conditions of occupancy
  • Must:  Description of the rental unit
  • Must:  Late Fees and Penalties
  • Must:  Landlords name, address, and phone number
  • Must:  Rent Amount and Due Date.
  • Must:  Length of the lease agreement
  • Must:  Tenants name, address, and phone number
  • Must:  Landlord’s responsibilities for maintenance, painting and utilities
  • Must:  Pet policies
  • Must:  Tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance, painting, and utilities
  • Occupancy by children or pets
  • Required deposits and the conditions for their refund
  • Inspection rights by the landlord
  • Other fees
  • Address of rental property
  • Security deposit amount and terms
  • Process for requesting maintenance and repairs
  • Subleasing policy
  • Cleaning Fees

 

LANDLORDS ARE PROHIBITED FROM:

  • Exempting landlords from liability for injuries to persons or property caused by the landlord’s negligence, or that of the landlord’s employees or agents
  • Waiving the tenant’s right to a jury trial in any lawsuit brought by either of the parties against the other for personal injury or property damage
  • Requiring tenants to pledge their household furniture as security for rent.

 

What are the rental agreement notice requirements in New York: 

Fixed-End or Year-to-Year: No statute as leases expire in New York.

Month-to-Month: Must provide at least 30 day’s written notice prior to a periodic rent due date. (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-a) Read our guide on Month-to-Month rent.

Week-to-Week: No statute.

 

Rent Increase Notice:

If the property has 6 or more units then the property has rent stabilization.  No statute on the notice required, however, the increasing percentage is determined by the Rent Guidelines Board in New York.

 

Rent Grace Period for Residential:

New York does not require grace periods.  Landlords may charge late fees as soon as rent is deemed late.

 

 

Prepaid Rent:

Landlords are allowed to collect prepaid rent, no statute defining the limits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATE FEES AND LIMITS IN NEW YORK

Late Fees for Residential:

New York has no legal requirement for charging or limiting late fees.  It is recommended to charge a reasonable fee, typically a percentage of rent or fixed amount.

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK LEASE TERMINATIONS / NOTICES TO QUIT

 

In New York, lease agreements between landlords and tenants can be terminated.  Read our blog for landlords about handling early lease terminations.  Here are the cause and effects:

 

What is the Pay or Quit for Nonpayment requirement in New York?

New York requires a 10 day Notice to Remedy or Quit.  (N.Y. RPL §§ 751(1))

 

 

How many days must a landlord allow before terminating for a Lease Violation?

New York requires a 10 day Notice to Remedy or Quit. (N.Y. RPL §§ 753(4))

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK LAWS ON REPAIRS

 

New York requires landlords to provide a habitable property for tenants to live and enjoy.  There are specific provisions defining how tenants can remedy repairs if the landlord fails to do so. 

How many days must the tenant give for non-emergency repairs? 

New York does not state any required notice.  However, landlords must make repairs within a reasonable time after being notified.  ‘Reasonable time’ is determined on the severity of the repairs.

 

Can tenants withhold rent for landlords’ failure to provide essential services (i.e. water, heat, etc.)?

New York allows the tenant the following remedies to handle repairs if the landlord fails (N.Y. RPL §§ 235-a):

  • Pay for repairs and deduct from the next monthly rent

 

 

NEW YORK LANDLORD LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Landlords have an obligation to the tenants, which include:

  • Remain in compliance with all applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety
  • Make repairs to keep premises in a safe condition
  • Keep all common areas of the property in a clean and safe condition
  • Maintain in good and safe working order and condition electrical, plumbing, sanitary, HVAC, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators.
  • Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for removal ashes, garbage, rubbish, and free of vermin.

 

 

 

NEW YORK TENANT LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Generally, tenants must dispose of all rubbish and garbage, refrain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating, and plumbing fixtures, meet all obligations lawfully by the code enforcement agency, refrain from willfully destroying or damaging the structure, take in additional occupants, rent or sublease without the owner’s consent.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK EVICTION LAWS

 

Can landlords do a ‘self help’ eviction?

In New York, it is illegal for landlords to cause the tenant to quit the rental unit involuntarily. Tenants may use the case of landlord performing a self-help or not following other required eviction procedures as a defense for not being evicted.

Are landlords allowed to lockout tenants by changing locks?

The landlord cannot change or remove the doors or locks.

 

Are landlords allowed to turn off utilities?

Landlords cannot turn off utilities.

 

Do landlords have to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate damages when re-renting the rental unit?

Although no statute requiring, previous Civil Court cases have ruled stating that landlords have a responsibility to mitigate damages.

 

 

 

NEW YORK LAWS ON RETALIATION

 

New York laws state a landlord cannot terminate a lease, refuse a lease renewal or raise rents when:

  • Tenant submitted, or threatened to, a complaint to the government agency for building or health code violation
  • Tenant has in good faith complained to the landlord of a violation
  • Tenant has organized or joined a tenants’ union, or similar organization
  • Tenant exercised a legal right or took action to protect their rights

 

New York defines a period of 6 months after an event that would result in retaliating actions. (N.Y. RPL §§ 223-b)

 

 

 

 

LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

New York allows a tenant that is a victim of domestic violence to terminate the lease with court approval.  Landlords cannot require proof of victim status.

If you are a victim, please search The New York Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence site for a helpline:

  • New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906
    • For deaf and hard of hearing: 711
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

 

 

 

NEW YORK LAWS FOR LOCKS AND LANDLORDS

New York does not have any statewide laws regarding locks for landlords.  The tenant cannot remove, replace or add a lock without the written permission from the landlord.  If the tenant does with permission, they must provide the landlord with a key. 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK PET LAWS & PET POLICIES

New York Landlord-Tenant Laws does not have any specific pet laws.  Landlords are legally allowed to create their own pet policies and requirements.  Including tolerance for breeds, size, types, and more.  Read our guide to pet policies.

 

 

 

 

 

DO LANDLORDS IN NEW YORK NEED A RENTAL LICENSE?

 

According to New York Landlord-Tenant Laws, landlords do not need a rental license in New York.

Landlords and owners of residential rental property do not need to register the property.  Local cities may have different requirements, we recommend you research the local city-specific laws.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICE OF ENTRY LAWS IN NEW YORK

Do landlords in New York have to provide notice of entry? 

New York does not require the landlord to provide notice.  However, generally recommend for at least a 24 hour notice, except for emergencies.  Entry must be during ‘reasonable time’ which is generally accepted at M-F 9am-5pm.

  • Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
  • Improvements to property
  • Inspections
  • Showing prospective tenants, contractors, mortgagees, or buyers.

 

When can a landlord enter without notice:

Landlords may enter due to an emergency.

 

 

Can landlords enter for non-emergency maintenance and repairs?

Yes, no notice required but generally suggested for at least 24 hours.

 

 

Can landlords enter for showings?

Yes, no notice required but generally suggested for at least 24 hours.

 

 

 

Can landlords enter for emergencies without notice?

Yes, no notice required but generally suggested for at least 24 hours.

 

 

Can landlords enter during Tenant’s extended absence?

Yes, no notice required but generally suggested for at least 24 hours.

 

 

Can landlords enter for pesticides?

No Statute.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK SUBLEASE AND ASSIGNMENT PROVISIONS

Landlords should include a clause in the lease agreement to prevent subleasing.  Otherwise, the tenant may sublet the rental unit.  In New York, tenants can potentially be evicted for subletting if the lease prevents the tenant from doing so.

 

 

 

 

TENANT ABANDONED PROPERTY IN NEW YORK

 

New York Landlord-Tenant Laws does not state any requirement for holding onto the abandoned property.  Landlords should provide a 30 day notice for the tenant to gather their personal property.  Lease agreements should provide provisions defining the procedure for abandoned property.

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED RENTAL AGREEMENT DISCLOSURES FOR NEW YORK LEASES

 

New York Landlord-Tenant Laws requires the following be included with all Rental Agreement Disclosures:

 

Lead Paint Disclosure:  Yes.  Federal law requires every landlord to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards.  Landlords must provide this EPA-approved pamphlet.

Structural Damage/Mold Disclosure:  Landlords are required by state law to disclose any structural damage and the condition of the roof and mold.  Structural damage may include water, fire, smoke, or insect damage.

Utility Disclosure:  Landlords are required to disclose certain mechanical services and utilities.  This may include the water source and quality, location of sewers and drainage systems, and any presence of flooding.

Sex Offender Disclosure:  Landlord must provide information if requested.

Bed Bug Disclosure:  Landlords are required to disclose any known presence of bed bugs within the past year.

Foreclosure Disclosure:  Landlords who are in an impending foreclosure must notify tenants via certified and first-class mail.

 

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

New York General Obligations Law

  • N.Y. GOL § 5-702: Lease Provisions
  • N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(1). Separate Security Deposit Bank Account
  • N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2). Receipt of Deposit
  • N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2-a): Security Deposit Interest
  • N.Y. GOL §§ 7-105. Transfer of Property Ownership

New York City Rent Guidelines Board

New York City Rent Guidelines Board (Repairs)

New York State Office of Rent Administration

New York State Assembly – Guide to Tenant’s Rights

New York State Homes and Community Renewal

 

NEW YORK RELATED COURT INFO & LINKS

 

New York Small Claims Court Limits:

$5,000 is the limit for small claims court. 

 

 

New York Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims:

No.  All eviction cases are heard in the Civil or Housing Court.

New York City Small Claims Court

New York State Courts

New York State Judicial Districts

New York Attorney General

New York State Bar Association

 

 

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