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New York Tenant Rights

New York Tenant Rights


Guide to New York Tenant Rights

NY tenant rights are among the best in the entire country.  Because there are so many New York tenant rights granted to tenants that aren't granted in other states, you may want to know more if you are moving to New York or are having a landlord issue for the first time.  This guide will teach you a few basics about NY tenant rights so that you can understand when a landlord has violated these rights.

Subletting and Apartment Sharing

While some states allow landlords to restrict subletting and apartment sharing, according to New York tenant rights law, tenants are allowed to sublet and to share their apartment, regardless of whether their subleaser or apartment sharer is an immediate family member or not.  Any provision of a lease that prohibits sharing an apartment with people or subletting is automatically void.  A landlord is allowed to deny permission for subletting with reasonable cause, but if the landlord's cause is unreasonable, NY tenant rights allow renters to sublet regardless of landlord permission.  You may have to take your landlord to court if you are being blocked from subletting for an unreasonable reason.


Evictions must be for a substantial violation of your lease or of local housing codes.  If your landlord intends to initiate eviction proceedings, he or she is required by New York tenant rights law to notify you in advance.  Your landlord is not allowed to evict you on their own, but must instead go through the proper court procedure.  This can take several months and can give you time to find a new apartment.  NY tenant rights forbid landlords from turning off your utilities or changing your locks to evict you.  If your landlord is trying to evict you illegally, you need to talk to an attorney with a thorough knowledge of New York tenant rights.

According to NY tenant rights, you may not be evicted due to a violation of the lease that your landlord knew about for a long time and failed to correct.  For instance, if you have a pet your lease did not allow, but you kept the pet openly for a year, your landlord will be unable to evict you according to New York tenant rights law.

Warranty of Habitability

When you move into an apartment, there is a reasonable expectation that it will be safe and habitable, and continue to be so.  If you lose access to heat, hot or cold safe drinking water, or any other issue that would cause your apartment to no longer be habitable, you are entitled to have repairs performed by your landlord in a reasonable timeframe.  If your landlord refuses to make needed repairs, you may be able to withhold rent or take your landlord to court.  You may also be entitled by NY tenant rights to make the repairs yourself (or have a professional do it) and charge your landlord for your costs.  If you plan to do this, keep your receipts so that you have proof.