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New York Landlord and Tenant requirements

New York Landlord/tenant Law

 
We have provided a General Instruction Manual for Landlords and Property Managers to help guide them through the New York Lease Agreement.  The Manual covers particular New York laws and regulations Landlords should know when leasing residential space in New York.

This is an extract from our comprehensive manual available in our New York Landlord Pack.

Click here for New York Lease Agreement and comprehensive Landlord Kit. Click here.

Particular Laws and/or regulations that the Landlord should know about New York Landlord Tenant Law:
  
What is covered:

PARTICULAR NOTICE PROVISIONS IN NEW YORK


WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
RENT INCREASE NOTICE
INSPECTION NOTICE
ENTRY NOTICE
TERMINATION NOTICE
NEW YORK CITY GUARDRAIL NOTICE
CITY OF BUFFALO SMOKING NOTICE

DEFAULT RULES IN NEW YORK


NOTICE PROVISIONS 
DIFFERENT EVICTION RULES FOR RENT CONTROLLED SPACES
POTENTIAL LANDLORD LIABILITY

NEW YORK COLLECTION COSTS LANDLORDS CHARGE TENANTS


LANDLORD MAY CHARGE A FEE FOR RETURNED CHECKS
LANDLORD COLLECTIONS COST GOVERNED BY THE NY U.C.C
.

PET SECURITY DEPOSITS IN NEW YORK


NON-REFUND PET SECURITY DEPOSIT ALLOWED IN NEW YORK

SECURITY DEPOSIT REQUIREMENTS IN NEW YORK


SECURITY DEPOSIT LIMITS, IF ANY
INTEREST REQUIREMENTS, IF ANY
SECURITY DEPOSIT HELD IN AN ACCOUNT AT A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
SECURITY DEPOSIT DEDUCTIONS AND REFUND
___________________________________________________________________

PARTICULAR NOTICE PROVISIONS IN NEW YORK
 

WRITTEN COMMUNICATION


Although New York does not require that all communications be in writing, the landlord should communicate with the tenant in writing whenever possible.  We have provided many sample letters and notices that the landlord may use to make communication with the tenant simple and easy.     

RENT INCREASE NOTICE


The landlord may find that the rent charged the tenant should be increased.  A landlord may find an increase in the rent is warranted when tax rates or water rates are increased.  In such cases, the landlord need not bear these costs but may pass them on to the tenant. 

In New York, the landlord may increase the tenant's rent without providing any advance notice, whether written or oral.  However, a good practice for the landlord to follow is to provide "reasonable advance written notice" to the tenant of any increase in rent.  If the rent is increased, the landlord may also seek to increase the security deposit by the same amount.  We have provided in your New York Lease Agreement and Comprehensive Landlord Kit a "Rent Increase Notice" document that the landlord may use when increasing the rent.

INSPECTION NOTICE


The landlord and tenant should, before moving in and moving out, take time to inspect the overall condition of the Unit.  Every effort should be made to note the conditions of appliances, walls, doors, windows, and outlets as well as other items that we have listed on our Entry Condition Report and the Exit Condition Report included in your New York Lease Agreement and Comprehensive Landlord Kit. 

There are no notice requirements in New York to conduct an inspection of the premises as there are in other states (like California).  A good practice for the landlord to follow is to conduct an inspection of the premises on "reasonable written notice" with the tenant noting the condition of the premise (e.g., appliances, walls, windows, outlets etc.) when the tenant "moves in" and "moves out." We have provided in your New York Lease Agreement and Comprehensive Landlord Kit "Notice Letter," "Move-In" and "Move-Out" documents for the landlord to use when inspecting the premises with the tenant.

ENTRY NOTICE


At times during the tenancy, the landlord may find a need to gain entry to the Unit to conduct routine maintenance, repairs or certain upgrades to the Unit.  

In New York, the landlord does not have to provide advance written notice for the landlord to gain entry of the premises.    

TERMINATION NOTICE


It can be important for a landlord to know when a lease agreement can be terminated and what steps must be taken.  Wrongful termination could mean additional penalties to the landlord.

To terminate a month-to-month lease agreement in New York, either the landlord or the tenant can provide 1-month advance written notice.   We have drafted specific notice documents that the landlord can use to gain entry to repair or maintain the premises as well as during a tenant's extended absence from the Unit.

NEW YORK CITY NOTICE


In New York City, the landlord is required to provide notice for the need of guardrails on certain apartments.  We have provided a guide as to when the landlord must provide the notice and under what circumstances the notice is required.  Typically, the landlord in New York City is required to have the guardrail notice signed by the tenant before February 15th of each calendar year.

CITY OF BUFFALO NOTICE


In the City of Buffalo, the landlord is required to provide a smoking notice. We have provided a guide as to when the landlord must provide the notice and under what circumstances the notice is required.   
 

DEFAULT RULES IN NEW YORK


NOTICE PROVISIONS (NOT FOR RENT CONTROL OR STABILIZATION UNITS) 


In New York, the landlord must provide at least three (3) days written notice in the event the tenant is in default of the terms of the lease for not paying the rent.

Under New York law, the landlord need not provide any notice to commence eviction proceedings provided the tenant is in breach of the lease agreement, when the premises is not subject to rent control or rent stabilization regulations.  However, a good practice for the landlord to follow is for the landlord to provide the tenant with reasonable advance written notice. It is advisable that the landlord should to provide the tenant with at least 3 days' written notice to cure or quit the premises in the event the tenant is in violation of the terms and conditions of the lease agreement.  

The 3 days notice to pay or quit is required before the landlord can commence eviction proceedings.  A process server should serve the notice of default on the tenant personally in order to be entitled to obtain a money judgment for back rent.  In eviction proceedings, timing of certain notices is critical and unless properly followed, the landlord will not be successful in an eviction proceeding.  We advise that the landlord seek legal advice when attempting to evict a tenant.

DIFFERENT EVICTION RULES APPLY WHEN SUBJECT TO RENT CONTROL LAWS


When the premises is subject to rent control regulations, the landlord is required to provide 10 days' written notice (unless the control board sets a different notice time frame) when the tenant has breached or violated a terms of the lease agreement.

POTENTIAL LANDLORD LIABILITY


The landlord should be aware that the landlord could be subject to penalties for forcing or intimidating the tenant to vacate the premises.  Under New York law, the landlord could be liable for 3 times actual damages.

COLLECTION COSTS A LANDLORD CAN  CHARGE A TENANT IN NEW YORK

 

RETURN CHECK FEE LIMITS


In New York, the landlord can charge $20 for returned checks or insufficient funds fees in addition to other charges recoverable by the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted by the state of New York. 
 

LATE FEE RESTRICTIONS

There are no restrictions in New York when charging the tenant with late fees.  However, as is the case with most items, the landlord should charge a late fee that is reasonable under the circumstances.

PET SECURITY DEPOSITS IN NEW YORK

 

PET SECURITY DEPOSIT LIMITATIONS

The landlord should know that New York law does not address whether non-refundable pet deposits are permitted or not when the rental space is not in a rent controlled or rent stabilized building.  

Under New York law, "a rent stabilized landlord can neither charge rent beyond the lawful rent with proper increases upon renewal, nor can they charge security beyond the one month.  These rules are written in the rent stabilization laws applicable in New York City.  Thus the pet fee and the additional security are unlawful.  The Division of Housing and Community Renewal will accept an overcharge complaint and may order a refund of the overcharge tripled and will likely order a refund of the excess security."  

It is customary, however, for landlords in New York, when appropriate, to impose non-refundable pet deposit. We have provided in your New York Lease Agreement and Comprehensive Landlord Kit a series of agreements, notices, letters and forms the landlord should use when renting to tenants that want to house a pet.  We have also provided a Pet Policy and Pet Application.

SECURITY DEPOSIT REQUIREMENTS IN NEW YORK


SECURITY DEPOSIT LIMITS, IF ANY


New York law does not limit the amount the landlord can require as a security deposit.  Typically, landlords in New York charge a first and last months' rent.  But how much security the landlord requires on deposit is a business decision for the landlord.  There are rules the landlord or property manager should be aware when accepting a security deposit from a tenant. The law that governs Security Deposits in New York can be found at NEW YORK GENERAL OBLIGATIONS LAW 7-103 TO AND INCLUDING 7-108.

INTEREST REQUIREMENTS, IF ANY


The landlord is required to pay interest at the prevailing rate on the security deposit if the Unit is subject to rent control or stabilization requirements, or if the building has 6 or more Units.  The landlord is not required to pay interest on the tenant's security deposit where the building has fewer than 6 Units.  Where the landlord is required to pay interest, the landlord is entitled to a 1% administration fee paid out of the accruing interest.  The tenant is entitled to the amount of interest earned above the 1% administration fee.

SECURITY DEPOSIT HELD IN AN ACCOUNT AT A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION


The security deposits do not need to be maintained in a financial institution if the building has 6 or fewer Units.  

If the premises has more than 6 Units, the landlord is required to deposit the security into a financial institution that is located within New York State.  If the deposits hare maintained in a financial institution, the landlord must keep the security deposits in separate accounts.  The landlord is required to inform the tenant in writing of the name and address of the financial institution holding the security deposit as well as the amount of the security deposit on the tenant's behalf. 

SECURITY DEPOSIT DEDUCTIONS AND REFUND


New York law requires that the landlord return the tenant's deposit within a reasonable time.

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