Important Facts About New York Landlord and Tenant Laws

Landlord Security Deposit Rules

There are new rules that apply to landlord-tenant security deposits. In 2019, landlord security deposits were capped at only one month’s rent. Additionally, the landlord is now required to return a security deposit within 14 days of the tenant having vacated the rental unit. If there are any deductions to the security deposit for any tenant damages that were sustained to the property, the landlord is required to give an itemized list of those deductions that were taken out of the money to be returned to the tenant.

Takeover of Unit by the Landlord

New to the laws is a provision stating that landlords are now required to give at a minimum of a 30-day notice to tenants if they plan to raise the rent of a rental unit by over 5% of the current rental fee. If a tenant is renting for a longer timeframe, such as for one to two years, a 60- day notice must be given. Tenants renting two or more years require a 90-day notice.

No More Tenant Blacklisting by Landlords

Also, now in the landlord-tenant law reform, is a provision that landlords can no longer blacklist tenants who give them issues during the tenancy, or require an application to a new tenant based on a prior landlord-tenant dispute. Notably, tenants now have 30 days to amend a lease violation (which is up from a 10-day requirement in the past). This month extension to fix any lease violations is a big step to allowing the tenant to cure a past violation, especially when the issue is within the tenant’s control to amend.

Conversion of Rental Units to Cooperative or Condominium Ownership

The new laws provide that building owners cannot convert the occupied rental units to a cooperative or condominium ownership building based on an eviction plan. If a non-eviction plan is in effect, the percentage of apartments for purchase agreements is 15% of anyone renting or outsiders, to 51% of tenants in occupancy (insiders).

Rent Stabilization and Non-Profit Renters

Non-profit renters who are renting for the advantage of disadvantaged people (the homeless) are to be in rentals that are now required to be rent stabled, with the legal rent equal to the amount of rent paid by the former tenant (with subtenants seen as tenant status too). Gone are the days when the landlords were able to significantly increase the rent based on surveys of what the other rentals are going for in a neighborhood on the rise. In most cases, the rent stabilization will be a benefit to the renters going forward.

Individual Apartment Improvements Limits

Individual Apartment Improvements (IAI) are capped at $15,000 and are temporary for 30 years. Major Capital Improvements (MCI) are now also to be considered temporary for 30 years. This means that landlords are responsible for the scheduling of reasonable costs only, and that there is a cap for each MIC (as amortized 12 years if fewer than 35 units are applicable). IAI increases are allowed on written and informed tenant consent, and are not to be performed without the knowledge of the tenant.

Do you have a tenant blacklisting question, or are wondering about the minimum notice that a landlord can give to a tenant before taking over a unit? If so, call the office of Michael Mantell, Esq., where we have been caring for clients and their legal needs in the metropolitan New York City area for nearly 50 years. We service the commercial and residential real estate needs of landlords, tenants, and business owners in the NYC region, and offer affordable fees. Call us now at (212) 750-3896 and schedule a consultation regarding your legal issues today.