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Landlord-Tenant Issues

Landlord-tenant issues are governed by the New York Real Property Law while any court actions would be controlled by the New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law. Both landlords and tenants require competent representation in often complex matters. Success in court, or in negotiations between parties, is due to good preparation and flexibility and creativity in thinking. Many courts have different rules and practices. The attorneys at HoganWillig take pride in their preparation and court skills and are well-versed in the drafting of commercial and residential leases and agreements which provide protection for our clients and often preclude the need for litigation.

2019 Rent Regulations and Tenant Protections Expansion: 13 Things to Know

BACKGROUND: On June 14, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted sweeping legislation expanding certain rent provisions statewide and altering the relationship between landlords and tenants in residential real estate. 



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NEW TENANT PROTECTIONS

  1. Landlords Must Mitigate Damages: A landlord is obligated to take efforts to re-lease in the event a tenant breaks a lease.

  2. Security Deposits Limited to One Month: Also, any damages need to be listed in an itemized statement within 14 days of premises vacated.

  3. Application Fees are Prohibited: A landlord cannot seek any payment for the processing, review, or acceptance of a rental application.

  4. Background Fees are Capped: Reimbursement for background and credit checks are limited to the lesser of the actual cost or $20.

  5. Late Payment Fees are also Capped: A late fee must be the lesser of $50 or 5% of monthly rent.

  6. Self-Help is Criminalized: It is now a class A misdemeanor for a landlord to prevent lawful occupying, including removing occupant’s possessions or changing the locks.

  7. Strengthened Protections against Retaliatory Evictions: A landlord cannot commence an eviction proceeding against a tenant who made a good faith complaint to the landlord or landlord's agent about the warranty of habitability, duty to repair, or other law.

  8. Notice: A landlord must now provide tenants with notice ranging from 30 days to 90 days if the landlord intends to increase rent by 5% or more or does not intend to renew the tenancy.

EVICTIONS

  1. Damages in Eviction Proceedings are Limited: Additional rent, fees, charges, penalties, and costs are no longer recoverable from a tenant in an eviction proceeding.

  2. Stays for Warrants: A tenant can halt issuance of a warrant of eviction for a period of up to one year, increased from six months for “extreme hardships”.

  3. New Defense to Eviction Proceedings: Written notice must be sent to a tenant of late rental payments not received within five days of the due date. Failure to deliver written notice can be raised as a defense in a later eviction proceeding.

  4. Timing of Eviction Proceedings: Time periods for eviction proceedings were modified and often increased to the tenant's benefit. For example, landlord must give 14-days written notice (up from three days) demanding rent| or possession prior to commencing a proceeding; tenant now has the right to adjourn trial for 14 days as a right; officer executing warrant must deliver 14 days written notice prior to evicting a tenant(s).

  5. Grounds for Eviction can be Rendered Moot if Tenant Makes Full Payment Prior to Hearing.

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