Anytime that a New Yorker enters into a contract, there will be terms that they like and terms they do not like. Most contract negotiations result with the people entering into the contract compromising to make it work. However, there are some situations when people enter into contracts out of necessity and feel like they just need to accept the terms from the other party to get what they want. One situation where this occurs is in employment contracts when people really need the job. Another is when people enter into a lease.
Landlords tend to hold more power in these negotiations. This is partially true because there are many people who need to rent apartments, so sometimes, they have many people to choose between when renting an apartment. Another is because many tenants do not know their rights and may feel that they just need to accept the terms. Tenants have rights though. These rights are always present, even if the lease says something different. If these rights are violated there could be a landlord-tenant dispute.
There are also some provisions that cannot be put into a lease and are void if the landlord ever tries to enforce them. One provision that is automatically void is one exempting the landlord from liability for injuries and damage to property caused by their or their employees' negligence. Another is a provision that waives the tenant's right to a jury trial in a lawsuit against the landlord for injuries or damage to property. Landlords are also not allowed to have provisions that force the tenant to pledge their personal property as security for the apartment.
There are many different landlords in New York and some are more honest than others. To protect the tenants, there are certain provisions in leases that are automatically void if they are in the lease. Tenants also have many other protections and rights as well, whether they are stated in the lease or not. It is important for tenants to know their rights and experienced attorneys may be able to help protect them.
Source: AG.NY.gov, "Tenants' Rights Guide," accessed on Jan. 9, 2018