If you are renting a home or apartment in New York, it can often feel like you have very little power compared to the landlord. Some landlords do everything they can to make their tenants feel like they just need to put up with subpar living conditions for the “privilege” of renting. The fact is, however, tenants have many legal rights, and the courts are quick to help if it is brought to their attention. In fact, New York has some of the most comprehensive tenant rights in the nation, largely due to the fact that there are so many renters in the boroughs and all over the state.
List of Tenant’s Rights
The following is a list of some of the most important (and most often violated), rights that tenants hold in New York. Learning and understanding your rights as a tenant is an important first step in being able to demand that your landlord treats you fairly:
- Heat During the Winter – Landlords are required to provide working heat during the winter season, which is from October 1st until May 31st.
- Hot Water – You are entitled to working hot water all year around. Note that this does not mean unlimited hot water, but it should be a reasonable amount that is reliable.
- Good Repair – The residence should be kept in good repair, and any reports of problems should be addressed within a reasonable amount of time. This includes fixing appliances, addressing mold or pest problems, and keeping up on other reported issues.
- Lead Paint – If lead paint is discovered and reported, the landlord should have it removed. Any work done that will disturb lead paint must be completed by contractors who are trained to work with this hazardous substance.
- Entering Your Home Property – Landlords do have the right to enter your home, but only in specific situations: to perform emergency repairs, non-emergency repairs/ improvements, and to conduct inspections. Emergency work does not require a notification, but all other access requires at least one week’s written notice.
- Unlawful Eviction – Landlords can’t simply evict you for no reason, and even when there is just cause, they must follow a series of steps to force you to leave.
Get the Help You Need
If you are one of the thousands of people who are mistreated by their landlords each year, we can help. We will fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure your legal rights are protected. Contact Susan Crumiller to discuss your options and get started on your case.