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Every tenant has rights

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2021 | Landlord/Tenant

Renting a home has some significant advantages. As a renter, you don’t have to commit to one location for a long period of time. You also don’t have to make repairs or replace appliances when they break down. There are drawbacks to renting a home in New York, though. It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities before signing a lease.

Monthly rent

The amount of rent a landlord can charge depends on whether the apartment is rent-controlled, rent-stabilized or deregulated. Monthly costs for rent-controlled and rent-stabilized units are typically lower. A landlord can increase the rent every time the lease expires if you live in a rent-stabilized or deregulated apartment. However, those increases can be much more significant in deregulated units.

Guarantee of Habitability

You must pay your rent every month or risk being evicted. In cases where the landlord has failed to make repairs and left the apartment uninhabitable, you may withhold rent. However, the landlord has the right to sue you for nonpayment if you do. According to landlord and tenant law in New York, you must give your landlord notice in writing of the reason you intend to withhold rent. If the landlord sues you, you may countersue for breach of warranty.

Your landlord is required to keep you safe in your apartment. This means they must install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, deter crime by restricting entry to buildings, provide window guards where young children live and provide peepholes in entry doors. They are also required to provide basic services such as heat, hot water and locked mailboxes.

Landlords’ rights are outlined in their leases and it’s important to read them carefully before signing. However, understanding your own rights can make a significant difference if you are ever involved in a dispute with your landlord.