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New York Landlord/Tenant Law Blog

New York City landlord admits to illegal evictions

This blog recently discussed the eviction process and the laws and rules landlords must follow to evict tenants, as well as the rights tenants have and what they can do in response to eviction proceedings. A recent case highlights the limits placed on landlords regarding the eviction process for the protection of renters and the security of their home and living situation.

A New York City landlord recently admitted to pushing tenants in rent-regulated apartments out of their homes. The landlord and his corporation recently pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawfully evicting rent stabilized tenants in a rent-regulated building. According to the state's Attorney General, the landlord turned off heat and used threats of demolition to drive the tenants from the rent-regulated building.

What is the eviction process?

The eviction process can be a troubling experience for renters who rely on the stability of the home they rent. As a consequence, it is important for renters to understand the eviction process and when a landlord may be able to evict them. In general, to evict a renter, a landlord must provide notice, usually in writing, and must follow certain formalities to evict the renter from their home.

Once the renter has been served with a notice of eviction, they have different options depending on the circumstances. If the renter does not wish to move out, they can correct whatever behavior the landlord is alleging violates the lease and see if the landlord is willing to continue with the lease agreement after the alleged violation of the lease has been corrected. If the renter does not wish to move out, they can remain in the unit. The options available to the renter may depend on the type of notice they receive.

New York City board votes to end rent freeze

A rent increase can be a significant concern for many renters which is why it is important for tenants to be familiar with their rights. Recently, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board voted to end the 2-year long rent increase freeze for the 1 million rent-stabilized units in New York City. The change, which will be subject to a final vote soon, would raise rents 1 to 3 percent on 1-year leases and 2 to 4 percent on 2-year leases.

Landlords were seeking a more substantial increase of 4 percent on 1-year leases and 8 percent on 2-year leases. Tenant groups were seeking another year of freeze and potential rollbacks associated with what they assert were overinflated rent increases in previous years. Tenants and landlords view the issue differently and landlords were primarily focused on property tax increases necessitating rent increases.

Understanding how a sublease works

A sublease refers to a specific process a tenant may use to relinquish rights to a property they have rented but may not impact their obligations. Subleasing generally refers to when a tenant named on the lease rents a room, a portion of the rented property or all of the rented property to another party. It is important to note that the new tenant, the subtenant, is responsible for rent payments and complying with the lease terms but the original tenant remains ultimately responsible for the lease.

This can be important for the principal tenant, or original tenant, to keep in mind when subletting because if the tenant they have sublet to fails to pay rent, they may still be liable to the landlord for payment of the rent and the landlord can still pursue them for unpaid rent. In addition, the original tenant may be liable for damages the subtenant causes to the property. Both the original tenant and landlord may have eviction rights against the subtenant.

Military members can terminate a lease under SCRA

You have eight months left on your year-long lease. As you drive back to your apartment from your monthly drill weekend, you mull over some big news from your commander. In three months, you leave for a mobilization on the other side of the country for one year of active duty. Your rent is expensive, and you want out before you leave. What do you do?

Service members in the reserve and guard branches of the armed forces are protected under the law while on duty. The often last-minute nature of mobilizations and deployments can upset the balance between civilian life and part-time military service.

What are my lease renewal rights?

It is important for tenants to understand the lease renewal process and their rights related to lease renewals. They may have many questions related to such an important concern which may determine if they can stay in their home or not. Their rights and the rules and requirements surrounding lease renewals may differ based on the type of apartment or property the tenant is renting so it is important to be familiar with what rules apply to your particular circumstances.

For apartments and properties that are not rent-regulated, the landlord must agree to renew the lease and can end the lease at the end of the lease term so renters may be subject to eviction at that time. The lease can also include an automatic renewal provision. If there is an automatic renewal provision, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with advance notice of the provision prior to the time the renter is required to notify the landlord of the renter's intention not to renew the lease.

Understanding the lease termination process

Lease termination and eviction are obviously understandable and significant concerns for renters. Depending on the circumstances, both state and federal laws, as well as the terms of the lease contract, govern how a lease may be legally terminated. It is important to be familiar with the circumstances under which a landlord is permitted to terminate a lease for protection of the renter's rights and peace of mind.

Most states permit a landlord to terminate a renter's lease if the renter fails to pay rent; violates a clause in the lease contract; or violates a responsibility imposed upon the renter by law. The landlord is required to send written notice of termination to the renter. Though the name of the notice may vary by state, it is typically referred to as a pay rent or quit notice which requires the renter to pay rent within a certain period of time or vacate the premises; a cure or quit notice which requires the renter to correct the violation of the lease agreement within a certain period of time; or an unconditional quit notice which requires the renter to vacate the premises without the opportunity to pay rent or cure the violation alleged.

Renters are protected from illegal evictions

Housing and housing stability is an important concern for everyone. When that stability is threatened, it can be of tremendous concern. It is important for renters in the New York City area to be familiar with the steps they can take to protect themselves from eviction and in situations of eviction proceedings. It is also important to keep in mind that landlords are unable to evict tenants without a court order and it is illegal for them to do otherwise.

Protecting renters from illegal eviction includes several important considerations and it is essential for renters to be familiar with their rights. There are a variety of laws and regulations that protect renters from abuses by their landlords. It is vital for renters to be familiar with those laws and regulations that protect them, which ones apply to their situation and when their landlord has violated laws or regulations designed to protect them.

New York landlord facing class action lawsuit for overcharging

Landlord tenant concerns are serious concerns for many individuals and families living in New York City and the greater New York area. Nearly 60 tenants of a Manhattan landlord have filed a class action lawsuit asserting the landlord collected certain tax breaks and then illegally overcharging tenants. The program provides tax benefits to landlords in exchange for upgrading their apartment buildings. One nonprofit housing rights group is urging fraud related to the tax benefits to be cracked down upon.

The company is accused of collecting certain tax benefits and then failing to abide by rent-stabilization limits. In one example provided, the company re-stabilized a unit that had been illegally deregulated at a rental amount that was 257 percent higher than the amount it had previously been registered at. Under the law, landlords are required to file an initial rent registration for each rent stabilized apartment and those registrations must be renewed annually.

Terms you should request before signing a lease

It is often believed that landlords have significant power over their tenants when it comes to rental property. As the owner of the property, the landlord can make decisions, but must still make sure that the decisions do not violate the terms designated in the rental agreement. There are a few things that a renter could request in the rental agreement to help make certain that they are not taken advantage of after the agreement is signed.

If there are multiple adults who will be residing on the premises, each person should be included on the agreement. This means that each person is responsible for staying within the terms; this could also protect the others on the agreement if one of the tenants fails to follow the previously agreed upon terms.

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