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  • Writer's pictureDavid S. Harris

Understanding Your Responsibilities as a Landlord in New York

New York has a well-deserved reputation for being highly regulated when it comes to landlords and tenants. It is difficult to raise the rent or evict non-paying or problem tenants. Landlords have to jump through many hoops to maintain their buildings but have limited recourse when tenants trash the place.

A New York landlord tenant attorney can help you wade through the ever-growing regulations that threaten your ability to make a profit or even to stay in business. Our state already had many rules that landlords had to follow, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting unemployment and other economic fallout, our legislators passed new rules for landlords.

General Rules New York Landlords Have to Follow

Here are some examples of the regulations that New York landlords already had to follow before the pandemic of 2020. Owners must:

  • Keep the common areas and individual apartments in their buildings safe, clean, and in good repair.

  • Provide and maintain sufficient lighting, hot and cold water, and safety measures.

  • Register the rental property with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) every year.

  • Register the rents every year with the New York State Homes and Community Renewal program if the building is rent-stabilized.

  • Keep their properties in compliance with the New York City Housing Maintenance Code and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.

These are some of the most common regulations that New York landlords encounter. Depending on your situation, there might be additional rules you have to follow.

New Rules for New York Landlords

The pandemic of 2020 caused millions of people to lose their jobs and be in danger of becoming homeless. New York wrote “emergency” legislation to prohibited landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent during the initial months of the global crisis.

Now the state says that these new rules will stay in effect indefinitely. Landlords in New York will have to comply with them until the state legislature repeals, amends, or terminates these regulations. The new regulations impose eviction restrictions on New York landlords without giving them the financial resources to fund these changes.

Here are some of the new regulations that apply to all landlords in New York:

  • The security deposit cannot be more than one month of rent.

  • A landlord has to give notice to a tenant if the landlord plans to raise the rent more than five percent or not renew the lease. The notice has to be at least 30 days but could be as much as 90 days, depending on how long the tenant has lived in the apartment or on the length of the lease term.

  • Unlawful evictions are now misdemeanors with possible fines between $1,000 and $10,000 per violation. The new rules define an unlawful eviction as one that takes place without a warrant of eviction or some other court order.

  • A city marshal has to serve a warrant of eviction at least 14 days prior to executing the eviction.

  • The court can stay the issuance of an eviction warrant for up to a year, depending on the type and severity of hardship the tenant alleges. The tenant must continue to pay the rent during the stay period.

  • It is now easier for tenants to get a reversal of an eviction decision by getting the money to become current on their obligations.

Contact Dave today. A New York landlord tenant attorney can advocate for you and provide guidance on the previous and new landlord regulations of our state.


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