BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
Lease laws involving real property in New York City (NYC) are governed by a combination of state laws, local regulations, and case law. These laws outline the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in residential and commercial lease agreements. Here’s an overview of NYC lease laws involving real property:
- General Lease Requirements:
Written Lease: In NYC, residential leases for terms of one year or more must be in writing.
Lease Terms: Leases should clearly state the rent amount, payment schedule, security deposit details, duration of the lease, and any terms and conditions.
Notice Requirements: NYC law may require specific notice periods for rent increases, lease renewals, or termination notices.
- Rent Regulations:
Rent Stabilization and Rent Control: Certain residential units in NYC are subject to rent stabilization or rent control laws, which impose limits on rent increases and provide tenant protections.
- Security Deposits:
Limitations: There are limitations on the amount a landlord can request as a security deposit. Landlords must provide a written receipt for the security deposit and return it within a certain period after the lease ends.
Interest: Landlords must pay annual interest on security deposits for certain residential leases.
- Rent Increases:
Rent Stabilization Guidelines Board: For rent-stabilized apartments, the Rent Guidelines Board determines annual rent increase percentages based on economic factors.
- Repairs and Maintenance:
Warranty of Habitability: Landlords are required to provide safe and habitable living conditions for tenants, including maintaining essential services and making necessary repairs.
Tenant’s Right to Repair and Deduct: In certain cases, tenants may have the right to make repairs themselves and deduct the cost from the rent.
- Eviction and Termination:
Notice Requirements: Landlords must follow specific notice requirements when terminating leases or evicting tenants, including providing written notice and following legal procedures.
Non-Payment of Rent: Landlords can initiate eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent, but they must follow legal procedures.
- Discrimination and Fair Housing:
Fair Housing Laws: Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status.
- Tenant Privacy and Access:
Tenant’s Right to Privacy: Landlords must provide notice before entering a tenant’s unit and must have a legitimate reason for doing so.
Retaliation Protection: Landlords are prohibited from retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights under lease laws or report housing code violations.
- Lease Renewal and Termination:
Renewal Terms: NYC lease laws may specify the terms and conditions for lease renewals and the process for termination by both landlords and tenants.
- Lease Disclosures:
Lead Paint Disclosure: Landlords of properties built before 1978 must provide tenants with information about lead-based paint hazards.
- Tenant’s Right to Legal Counsel:
Right to Counsel: NYC tenants facing eviction have the right to free legal representation in housing court proceedings.
It’s important for both landlords and tenants to understand their rights and obligations under NYC lease laws involving real property. If you have specific questions or concerns related to a lease agreement or rental situation, it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals who specialize in NYC real estate and landlord-tenant law.
Citations, References and Potentially Useful Resources for Further Information:
New York State Constitution
Federal Securities Regulation
New York State Martin Act
New York Condominium Act
New York State Security Regulations
New York Business Corporation Law
New York Limited Liability Company Law
New York Uniform Partnership Act
Federal Internal Revenue Code
New York State Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
New York City Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
Winston Churchill Owners, Inc. v. Regents Real Estate Associates
Board of Managers of the Park Regis Condominium v. Park Regis Owners Corp.
Park Sutton Condominium v. 447 E. 57th St. LLC
28 E. 10th Street Corp. v. Veras
Riverside Syndicate, Inc. v. Munroe
Essex House Condominium v. Marks
The Parc Vendome Condominium v. Atkinson
54-56 Meserole Street Owners Corp. v. Rossi
The Beekman Regent Condominium v. Bottiglieri
Chelsea 19th LLC v. West 19th Street Realty LLC
New York Department of Finance
New York City Department of Buildings
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
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