New York Landlord Tenant Rights

Investing in a home is a huge time and financial commitment. If you are a New York resident looking to lease a residence or you are a landlord who is leasing out a unit, check out our breakdown of landlord tenant rights.

Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants.

New York landlords are responsible for maintaining the following for single-family units:

  • Dwelling structures
  • Water
  • Bugs and vermin
  • Mold
  • Lockable doors and windows
  • Smoke detector

Additionally, for family units the landlord is responsible for:

  • Waterproofing on ceilings, walls, and floors
  • Plumbing and sanitation
  • Electrical outlets and wiring
  • Carbon monoxide detector

Landlords are prohibited from including any of the following clauses in their rental agreement:

  • An exemption from liability for injuries to persons or property caused by the landlord’s negligence, or that of the landlord’s employees or agents
  • Waiver of tenant’s rights to a jury trial of a lawsuit brought by either party for property damage or personal injury
  • A requirement that tenant’s pledge their household furnishings as security for rent

They are also prohibited from engaging in retaliatory or discriminatory conduct.

The following are mandatory disclosures:

  • Lead-based paint
  • Authorized agents
  • Security deposit holdings
  • Fire sprinkler system
  • Bed bugs
  • Certificate of occupancy

Tenant Responsibilities

Likewise, New York tenants have responsibilities to their landlords. Specifically:

  • Pay rent in a timely manner
  • Keep the unit clean and properly dispose of trash
  • Make small repairs and light maintenance
  • Inform landlord of any repair or maintenance issue
  • Keep fixtures in a clean and sanitary condition
  • Not to disturb other tenants

Security Deposit

New York law sets the maximum security deposit for one month’s rent.

If the property contains 6 or more family dwellings, the landlord is required to let the security deposit accrue interest in a separate New York interest-bearing account.

The landlord must return the security deposit in 14 days, minus deductions for damages beyond normal wear and tear and reimbursement for unpaid rent. The security deposit must be transferred within 5 days of property transfer.

Rent and Fees

New York has rent control in certain places for buildings. If in an area that doesn’t practice rent control, the landlord isn’t obligated to let the tenant know of rent increases in advance.

The tenant is allowed to withhold rent for failure to provide essential services. They are also allowed to make repairs themselves and deduct the amount of repairs from their normal rent amount.

Evictions

An eviction can take place on the following grounds:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Lease violation
  • No lease or the lease has ended
  • Illegal acts

The landlord can recover attorney fees but do not have the duty to mitigate damages.

Tenants can legally terminate their lease early for the following reasons:

  • Early termination clause
  • Active military duty
  • Uninhabitable unit
  • Landlord harassment
  • Domestic violence and stalking
  • Senior citizen with a serious health condition

Lease Termination Notice

For nonpayment of rent, the landlord must give the tenant a 14-day notice to pay after which eviction proceedings can begin.

Lease violations should be addressed with a 10-day notice; if the issue is not addressed in 10 days the landlord can then issue a 30-day termination notice.

If the lease has ended and the tenant has not vacated the premises, the landlord has the ability to issue a 30-day notice for lease terms or tenancies of less than one year; a 60-day notice for lease terms or tenancies for more than one year but less than two years; and for lease terms or tenancies more than two years, a 90-day notice should be given.

Relevant State Agencies

New York Department of Housing and Urban Development

City-Specific Links

New York City:

Tenant Rights guide

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Electric

Gas

Buffalo:

Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME)

Water

Electric

Gas

Syracuse:

Landlord Tenant Relations: Discrimination

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Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

N.Y. Real Property, Article 7: Landlord and Tenant

N.Y. Real Property, Article 8: Real Property Actions and Proceedings