Since almost two-thirds of New Yorkers rent their homes in the Concrete Jungle, familiarizing yourself with New York tenant rights is an essential thing to do when planning to relocate. New York City renter rights are numerous, so we’ll try to explain all the important rules because following these regulations can make your and your landlord’s life much easier.
Learn all the important information about NYC renters rights in the following article and move without any worries
What Are Tenant Rights in New York?
A tenant is a person who temporarily occupies a house or apartment legally entitled to the landlord – a person who possesses this real estate and has given the renter permission to use their property. NYC tenants rights are a group of regulations carefully compiled to prevent any misunderstandings or potentially problematic situations that might occur between the tenant and the landlord.
Start your relocation process by filing a lawful rental application and change your address
What Responsibilities Every Tenant in New York Has?
There are a few basic things every tenant needs to pay attention to because ignoring these responsibilities can lead to eviction:
Tenants must follow the law, and they are also in charge of every physical violation of the place caused by either willful acts or negligence.
Renters have to respond to legally required notices, even those that are about window guards.
Tenants have to allow the landlord to enter the apartment if they need to make repairs or improvements required by the Housing Maintenance Code and Multiple Dwelling Law.
Every Landlord Also Has Its Own Responsibilities When Renting an Apartment
Responsibilities and rights, as in any case, go both ways – it’s not only the renter who’s obligated to fulfill many requests. The same thing applies to a landlord. Some of the important things that are landlords’ responsibility include:
The owner should be registered annually with the New York State Homes and Community Renewal,
The place should be clean and well maintained,
Tenants need to be informed if there were any bed bugs in the past year,
Provide heating from October 1 to May 31,
Hot water needs to be provided 24/7, 365 days per year.
Your potential home should be clean and well-maintained
New Regulations Regarding Security Deposits
If you thought that you’d have to pay a high deposit covering two or three months’ worth of rent, we have some good news for you. According to the latest law, the amount of deposit has been limited to one month’s rent. Also, there is now a legal deadline for owners to return the deposit, and it is 14 days after the lease expires. So keep this in mind when you go apartment hunting in NYC, as well as the fact that many apartment owners might not be aware of these changes, so prepare to do some explaining and be patient.
Make sure you're aware of the new regulations before you go apartment hunting
Is the Owner Allowed to Enter the Apartment at Any Time According to Laws?
This question is tricky when it comes to privacy – it’s not usually the practice that the owner comes inside your apartment at any time, but they are allowed to call you explaining the reason for their visit and tell you the time of the planned visit. On the other hand, if some emergency situations arise, they are allowed to enter the apartment without notice in order to provide the necessary repairs or stop potential leaking. If the situation isn’t urgent and repair can wait, they are supposed to inform you about their upcoming visit and the cause of it – the same thing applies if they want to bring potential buyers or future tenants to check the apartment.
Owner Doesn’t Have the Right to Change the Locks Without Notifying Tenant About It
Changing the locks without giving the resident a copy of the keys is a violation of the Unlawful Eviction Law. If this happens to you under any circumstances, you can go to the nearest police department and report that you were illegally locked out from the apartment you’re legally renting. If you choose to file a complaint and start an “illegal lockout case,” one of the best ways to get free lawful representation is to contact Legal Aid or Legal Services. They will check your qualifications for the case. In case that you aren’t eligible, you can ask for assistance at the Housing Court.
What Documents and Evidence Do I Need to Start the Case?
If you choose to go to court, you should show documents and other evidence and papers that clearly show that you are a current resident of the apartment. Any documents that show that you’re a lawful occupant of the place you’ve been locked out from. One of the moving hacks recommended for these kinds of situations is to keep a copy of documents at your friend’s place because if you get locked out, you won’t be able to take them from your apartment – or take documents with you every time you’re leaving the apartment. Some of the suggested documents are:
A signed lease,
Utility bills, cable, internet, and phone bills – anything related to your current address,
Ensure to keep copies of important documents as evidence of your tenancy
Can Your Landlord Increase the Rental If the Apartment Is Rent-Stabilized
One of the things that can lead to severe moving stress is the increase in rent. However, when living in a rent-stabilized place, you can ask for the rental history of the property. If you want to make sure that the owner has a legal right to increase the monthly amount you pay, or you find it too high, you can call DHCR at 718-738-6400 and ask them if the increase is overcoming the regular pricing rates. This is only an option if your apartment is subject to rent control or rent stabilization by DHCR and the Rent Guidelines Board.
Landlord Has the Right to Raise the Rent, But the Tenant Must Be Informed 30 Days in Advance
If your apartment isn’t rent-stabilized, the owner has every right to increase or decrease this price and notify you about the change at least a month in advance. If you don’t find this price suitable for your budget, you can choose to move out during that time. If you refuse to pay the increased amount, they might evict you if there’s proof that you received adequate notice about this change timely.
What Is Rent-Freeze and Who Can Apply for It?
Citizens over 62 or disabled people who are at least 18 years old can apply for the local rent-freeze program. The apartment owner can’t stop its tenants from applying for the program, and if the renter is eligible for it, a property tax credit will cover the difference between the amount the landlord is asking and the frozen rate you’ll be paying.
Increasing rent is not always permitted
Landlord Is Obligated to Install Window Guards If Occupants Request Them
One of the important rules of regulation that every renter should know about is that they can request window guard installation at any time and without any specific reason. For example, you don’t have to request this only because you are moving with pets or children under the age of 10 – no matter what your reasons are, owners are obligated to install them. One of the precaution steps you can take if you already have them installed, but you’re not sure about their safety is to dial 311 – this is also the number you should call for their installation. If you notice that there are more than four and a half inches of opened unguard space once the window is opened, you should call the inspection.
Requiring window guards is one of your legal New York City tenant rights
Keeping Pets Without Legal Admission Can Be Considered for a Violation of Rules
If you own a pet and want to keep it inside the apartment with you, you need to make sure this is allowed and stands in your contract. If you choose to keep it without lawful permission, this can be considered a violation of the lease. However, this can also depend on the type of animal because some animals aren’t allowed to be kept as pets in NYC. By calling 311, you can find more information about this regulation and check which animals can be held as pets in some of the neighborhoods in NYC.
You need to check if pets are allowed inside the apartment
Do Landlords Have Any Rights in NYC?
Landlords might find themselves in many unexpected and unpleasant situations – that’s why they need to ask for a deposit that will provide them security from financial losses and emotional stress. Some NYC rental rights that landlords have include:
Requesting a deposit, they can keep if something gets damaged (deposit receipts are required),
Including specific interest rates (for additional security, pets, installations),
Requiring written agreement if the lease is 12 months or longer.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give to Move Out in NY?
There are several ways to do this, but if you want to follow the New York law and regulations, the best thing to do is to give your renter a written eviction notice to move out. You should notify them about eviction at least 30 days in advance, 30 to 90 days is preferably and legally justified. To skip misunderstandings, you should also specify the date when the tenancy ends. This video might show you more interesting things to consider if you are a landlord in NYC.
Once You Get Familiar With Every New York Tenant Right There Is, You Should Hire Professional New York Movers
If you already finished apartment hunting around some of the best neighborhoods for singles or decided that living in Brooklyn might be ideal for you, the only thing left is to relocate. As long as you follow NYC renters’ rights and hire a professional New York moving company such as Twin Brothers Movers for assistance, you won’t have any problems.