New York Residential
Lease Agreement for
Rental Properties


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Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.

In New York state, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by New York landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.

This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a residential lease agreement New York considers compliant, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free New York lease template for download!

A New York lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to New York’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.

The following components should be included in every New York lease agreement. Note that these components primarily apply to residential leases; a New York commercial agreement will necessarily have different requirements.

Lease Term

This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.


Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. New York does not have state-wide rent control, but rent control laws are permitted in the state, and several municipalities have active rent control legislation. If you live in one of these localities, be sure the rent defined in this section of the lease complies with local rent control laws.

New York state also has laws regarding the amount of notice you must provide before increasing rent. All rent increases of 5% or greater must be communicated to tenants in writing. 30 days’ notice is required for tenancies less than one year, 60 days’ notice is required for tenancies between one and two years, and 90 days’ notice is required for tenancies greater than two years (NY RPP Code § 226-C). Be sure that your policy for rent increases is complaint with these laws and communicated to tenants clearly within the lease.

Late Fees

The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In New York, late fees are limited to either $50 or 5% of the monthly rent, whichever is less (NY RPP Code § 238-A(2)). There is also a mandatory five-day grace period in New York, during which tenants cannot be charged any late fees. Be sure your New York lease agreement fully and clearly explains the day rent officially becomes “late” and the penalties if it is not received after the grace period.

Security Deposit

This section of a New York rental lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.

The maximum or limit for security deposits in New York is regulated by state law. In New York, deposits cannot be more than one month’s rent (NY GOB Code § 7-108(1a)). New York landlords must also keep security deposits in separate bank accounts distinct from personal funds. If you own a property with six or more dwelling units, those security deposits must be kept in an interest-bearing account and earn interest at the usual rate for other deposits made at banks in that area.

When the lease ends and the tenant moves out, the security deposit must be returned to the tenant (minus any deductions) within 14 days. The landlord’s security deposit rules and procedures should be stated in the lease, with clear directions to the tenant about how they will be reimbursed when the lease terminates, notwithstanding any damages or unpaid charges.

Required Disclosures

This section encompasses crucial required disclosures, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. A residential lease agreement New York considers compliant must include these disclosures (or they must be provided in a separate notice).

In New York, the required disclosures are:

  • Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
  • Security deposit receipt – New York landlords must disclose the name and address of the bank where the security deposit is being held.
  • Sprinklers — All New York leases must include a boldface notice describing whether a maintained and operative sprinkler system exists in the unit.
  • Indoor air contamination — If an indoor air contamination test indicates poor air quality that is a health or safety hazard, New York landlords must inform the tenant within 15 days.
  • Certificate of occupancy — New York landlords who own three or fewer units must disclose whether a certificate of occupancy is currently valid for the unit (if required by law) and include a copy in the lease.
  • Reasonable modifications and accommodations — New York landlords must provide a notice explaining tenants’ rights to reasonable modifications and accommodations within 30 days of the start of a tenancy.
  • Source of income rights — New York landlords must inform tenants in writing of their rights and remedies regarding lawful source of income discrimination.

Landlord Right to Entry

In New York, there is no specific law governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. However, some municipalities in New York may have laws requiring landlords to give advanced notice before entering the property. Be sure your entry policy is explained fully in your New York lease agreement, including the purposes for which you may enter.

Repairs & Maintenance

The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every New York residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.

Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures

This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.

A New York residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in New York, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A 14-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment, a 10-day notice to cure for lease violations, a 30-day termination notice if the tenant does not fix a violation, or an immediate quit notice for illegal activity. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.

Community Rules

Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a New York sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.

Joint and Severability Clause

This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.


Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.

New York Lease Agreement Download

To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable New York lease agreement template. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of New York state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.


Understanding the nuances of a New York residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a New York lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free New York lease agreement template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.