New York Landlord Tenant Laws
January 17, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Security deposit receipt
Indoor air contamination
Certificate of occupancy
Source of income rights
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: Not permitted
Rent Control: Yes
Late Fee Limit: $50 or 5% of monthly rent
Grace Period Minimum: 5 days
Amount Limit: 1 month’s rent
Interest: Yes, if 6+ units
Return Within: 14 days
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A
|Fair Housing Protections |
Source of income
Domestic violence victims
Rent Demand Notice: 14-day pay-or-quit notice
Holdover Notices: 10-day notice to cure; 30-day termination notice; 10-day quit notice
Unconditional Notice to Quit: Immediate
New York Landlord-Tenant Law
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
Security Deposit Receipt
Landlord disclosure requirements in New York oblige landlords to disclose in writing the name and address of the banking institution at which the security deposit is held, along with the deposit amount.
Landlords must provide a receipt of all rent payments. The receipt should be in writing and include the date, amount, the property, the period for which it was paid, and the signature and title of the landlord.
Landlords in New York City must provide a bedbug infestation history disclosure before move-in. The form indicates whether there has been a history of infestation within the past year and the eradication measures taken.
Landlords must include a boldface notice in all residential leases describing whether a maintained and operative sprinkler system exists in the unit. If there is one, the lease should include the date of its last maintenance and inspection.
Indoor Air Contamination
If indoor air contamination test results indicate that the indoor air quality poses a safety or health hazard, the landlord must inform tenants of these results within 15 days of receiving them.
Certificate of Occupancy
Landlords who own three or fewer rental units must disclose to tenants whether a certificate of occupancy is currently valid for the unit (if required by law) and include a copy of the valid certificate in lease agreements.
Reasonable Modifications and Accommodations
All housing providers must provide, in writing within thirty days of new tenancies, a disclosure explaining tenants’ rights to request reasonable modifications and accommodations.
Source of Income Rights
Landlords must inform tenants, in writing, of their rights and remedies regarding lawful source of income discrimination. This includes tenants eligible to receive Section 8 housing choice vouchers and other sources of housing assistance.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: Rent in New York is due on the date specified in the lease.
- Electronic Payments: New York landlords may not require tenants to pay rent electronically, nor may they charge additional fees for tenants who choose not to use electronic payments (NY RPP Code § 235-G).
- Application Fees: Rental application fees are strictly prohibited in New York. An application fee is any payment, fee, or charge required for the processing, review, or acceptance of rental applications (NY RPP Code § 238-A(1a)). Fees to reimburse the costs of background and credit checks are permitted, but they must equal the actual cost of the checks or $20, whichever is less (NY RPP Code § 238-A(1b)).
- Rent Increases: Rent control is permitted in New York, and several municipalities have active rent control laws. Rent increases of 5% or greater must be communicated to tenants in writing. For tenancies less than one year, 30 days’ notice is required. For tenancies between one and two years, 60 days’ notice is required; for tenancies greater than two years, 90 days’ notice is required (NY RPP Code § 226-C).
- Late Fees: Late fees in New York are limited to $50 or 5% of the monthly rent, whichever is less (NY RPP Code § 238-A(2)).
- Grace Period: There is a 5-day required grace period in New York (NY RPP Code § 238-A(2)).
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: Issuing a bad check is a class B misdemeanor in New York (NY PEN Code § 190.05). If the tenant’s rent check bounces, landlords can usually charge a reasonable fee to cover the actual damages.
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If a landlord refuses or fails to provide a utility or other maintenance service which they are responsible for as per the lease agreement, the tenant may pay the utility company and deduct the cost from a future rent payment (NY RPP Code § 235-A(1)).
- Deposit Limit: 1 month’s rent (NY GOB Code § 7-108(1a)).
- Interest: Landlords who own a property containing six or more family dwelling units must keep security deposits in an interest-bearing account. The deposit should earn interest at “the prevailing rate earned by other such deposits made with banking organizations in such area.” (NY GOL Code § 7-103(2-a)).
- Return Within: 14 days (NY GOB Code § 7-108(1e)).
- Deposit Location: New York landlords are required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account distinct from personal funds (NY GOL Code § 7-103(1)).
- Withholding: New York landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent, tenant damage beyond typical wear and tear, unpaid utility charges that are payable to the landlord, and the moving and storage of tenant belongings (NY GOL Code § 7-108(1b)).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). New York state law adds protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ancestry, marital status, military status, source of income, pregnancy, and status as a victim of domestic violence (NY EXC Code § 291(2), § 296(2a)).
- New York landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- New York City has proposed several bills to restrict the use of criminal background checks during tenant screening. The Fair Chance for Housing Act would prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of arrest or convictions record. It would also restrict landlords from considering charges that have been pardoned, overturned, or did not result in conviction.
- New York landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: There is no state law in New York requiring landlords to give advance notice before entering a property. However, municipal courts in New York City and other localities may require advanced notice.
- Permitted Times: New York state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering.
- Emergency Entry: There are no New York laws addressing emergency entry.
Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in New York, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the New York eviction process in more detail.
- Rent Demand Notice: 14 days to pay or quit (NY RPA Code § 711(2)).
- Holdover Notices:
- Notice to Cure: 10 days. If a tenant violates a lease term other than nonpayment, the landlord must first send a Notice to Cure, informing the tenant that they have ten days to fix the breach.
- Termination Notice: 30 days to quit. If the tenant does not cure the breach after the Notice to Cure expires, the landlord must send a Termination notice providing 30 days to move out (NY RPA Code § 753(4)).
- Notice to Quit: 10 days. This notice applies when the person the landlord is trying to evict is a non-tenant (e.g., a squatter).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: Immediate. This notice applies when the tenant engages in illegal activity on the premises, such as the illegal manufacture of substances or prostitution (NY RPA Code § 711(5)).
Other Laws and Facts About New York
- The average rent rate in New York is $1,695 per month.
- In addition to the state-wide average rent price New York City has a median rent of $3,475 per month. This is $875 more than the average in 2021.
- The average rent price Manhattan reports exceeded $5,000 in June of 2022.
- New York City has two rent increase exceptions: the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) Program. These exceptions allow tenants over the age of 62 or those with a disability to apply for a rent freeze. NYC tenants who meet the criteria may use a property tax credit to cover the amount of rent that exceeds the frozen rate. Landlords cannot prevent tenants from using the benefits of either program.