This is a summary of New York Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the New York Consolidated Laws, New York Real Property Law, New York Real Property Actions Law, the New York General Obligations Law, and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about New York landlord-tenant laws, New York eviction laws, and New York renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing New York Landlord-Tenant Laws
- N.Y. Real Property Law – Article 7 §§ 220 to 238 – Landlord and Tenant
- N.Y. Real Property Law – Article 7 §§ 701 to 767 – Summary Proceeding to Recover Possession of Real Property
- N.Y. Real Property Law – Article 8 §§ 801 to 881 – Waste and Other Actions and Rights of Action for Injury to Real Property
- N.Y. General Obligation Law §§ 7-103 to 7-109 – Money Deposited as Security to be Held in Trust in Certain Cases
- Changes in New York State Rent Law
New York Lease Terms Provisions
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
Unless a property is subject to rent control, security deposits cannot exceed one month’s rent. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-108)
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
Yes, if the rental property consists of more than 6 or more dwellings, security deposits must be kept in an interest-bearing account with a New York financial institution. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-103(2-a))
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
Yes. Landlords cannot mix personal funds with security deposits. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-103(1))
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. There is no New York law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
Unless a property is subject to rent control, security deposits must be returned within 14 days after the tenant has vacated the premises. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-108)
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover accrued rent, to repair any damages to the property caused by tenants beyond normal wear and tear, for any outstanding utility payments, and for moving and storage of tenant’s belongings. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-108)
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. An itemized list detailing the basis for the amount of deposit retained must accompany a refund of any remaining security deposit within 14 days of vacancy. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-108)
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
Yes. The landlord must provide tenant with a written account of the amount received and what financial institution the deposit is held in (name and address). (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-103(2))
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
No. There is no New York law specifying record-keeping requirements for deposit withholdings.
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
A landlord is liable for up to twice the amount of deposit, as well as any actual damages from the wrongful withholding of a security deposit. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-108)
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
While New York City and other jurisdictions may have rent control, there is no statewide rent control in New York. Different municipalities can partake in a “rent stabilization” program – local jurisdictions are empowered to set local rental prices for units built after 1971.
- When is rent due?
Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant.
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no New York law requiring a certain payment method for rent, though a landlord cannot require electronic payment of rent. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 7-235-G)
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. Landlords can charge a late fee up to the lower of $50 or 5% of the monthly rent. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 238-A).
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
Yes. A rent payment can only be considered late if it is more than 5 days past due. (Changes in New York State Rent Law)
- Can landlords charge application fees?
No, landlords can only charge up to $20 for a background and credit check. (Changes in New York State Rent Law)
- Can landlords charge returned check fees?
Yes. If the lease specified returned check fees, they can be charged, so long as they are not more than $20. (Changes in New York State Rent Law)
New York Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?
Yes. Landlords must provide tenants with written notice in advance of any rent increases greater than 5%. If the tenant has been in the dwelling for more than 2 years, 90 days notice is required. After one year of tenancy, 60 days are required, and 30 days notice is required for any tenant. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 226-c)
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no New York law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?
Notice is not required. (N.Y. real Prop. L. § 232-B).
- What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic tenancy?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 7 days written notice. (Changes in New York State Rent Law)
- What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic tenancy?
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
A landlord must provide written notice to a tenant at least 48 hours prior to a move out inspection. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. L. § 7-108)
- When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
- Entry provisions are not governed by statute in New York State, but a reasonableness standard for both entry and notice are observed.
- Parties can contract for certain access provisions in the lease.
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
There is no New York law requiring landlords to give tenants notice of entry, but reasonableness is enforced.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
There is no statute governing the access of landlords to tenants premises.
- New York State has deemed that all residential leases contain an implied warranty of habitability. This warranty gives landlords the responsibility to maintain premises that are fit for human habitation and the uses reasonably intended by the parties. Any agreement waiving or modifying this rule shall be void as contrary to public policy. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 235-B)
- There is no New York State statute covering this issue.
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Landlords are required to disclose in writing the names and business addresses of:
- the person authorized to manage the premises.
- the owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for service of process and receiving notices.
- Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).
- All rental agreements in New York must include a conspicuous notice (written in bold face font) about whether the property has a functioning operative fire sprinkler system, the date of maintenance and inspection. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 231-A).
New York Renters’ Rights
- What are New York renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)
As a landlord’s only statutory duty in New York is the implied warranty of habitability, any breach by the landlord would put the tenant in a position requiring the breach be cured quickly. Actual damages and punitive damages are available to tenants if the breach is not remedied or not remedied in a reasonable amount of time. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 235-A)
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
Yes. Payments to utility companies made by the tenant to keep the dwelling in a habitable condition can be deducted from the rent. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 235-A)
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their New York renter’s rights?
New York law prohibits landlords from increasing rent, decreasing services, or bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession if the tenant has complained to a governmental agency, complained to the landlord about a breach of landlord’s duties, or if the tenant becomes a member of a tenant’s union or similar organization. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 223-B)
New York Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under New York eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy)
- Illegal activity or the deliberate infliction of substantial damage to the property
- The tenant has declared bankruptcy.
- The tenant removes or disables smoke detectors from a dwelling in a city with a population of more than a million. (N.Y. Real Prop Acts § 711)
- What notice do New York eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
- For evictions based on non-payment of rent, a landlord must provide 14 days’ notice of a rent demand before starting an eviction procedure. Until eviction occurs, a tenant can stop the eviction by paying all rent due. A landlord cannot evict based on any unpaid fees or legal bills if all rent owed is paid. (N.Y. Changes)
- For holdover tenancies, if the landlord accepts any rent from the tenant, the landlord must then prove the tenant is objectionable for removal to be effective. (N.Y. Real Prop Acts § 711)
- Do New York eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. Each violation or attempt to ensure a self-help eviction is a separate offense, punishable by a civil penalty of between $1,000 and $10,000. Each violation is also a Class A misdemeanor. (N.Y. Real Prop Acts § 768)
- Are landlords permitted to recover damages from an evicted tenant?
Yes. Landlords can recover attorney’s fees and expenses if they are clearly called for in the lease. (N.Y. Real Prop. L. § 234)
COVID-19 Changes to New York Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- New York State moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 is no longer effective.
- Homeowner Protection Program provides help to homeowners in New York.
Squatter’s rights in New York
Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
New York has no specific laws recognizing squatters.
The squatter can claim adverse possession if he/she have possessed the property for more than 10 years without interruptions. Such possession must be open, notorious, continuous, exclusive and actual. ( N.Y. Real Prop. Acts Law §§ 501-551).
- New York State Courts
- New York State Judicial Districts
- New York Attorney General
- New York State Homes and Community Renewal
- New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
- New York State Office of Rent Administration
- New York State Insurance Division
- New York State Department of Consumer Protection
- The Legal Aid Society
- Legal Services NYC
- NYC Housing Court – Volunteer Lawyers Program
- New York Legal Assistance Group – Tenants’ Rights
Attorney Referral Services
- New York State Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association – Attorney Referral Service
- New York State Unified Court System – Attorney Search
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- New York State Association of Realtors
- Greater Capital Association of Realtors
- Manhattan Association of Realtors
- Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors
- Real Estate Board of New York
- Central New York Landlords Association
- Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York
- Finger Lakes Landlord Association
- New York Capital Region Apartment Association
- Small Property Owners of New York
- New York State Tenants and Neighbors Coalition
- Crown Heights Tenant Union
- Metropolitan Council on Housing
- United Tenants of Albany, Inc.