You probably don’t need to be reminded that New York has one of the most expensive rental markets in the country. Perhaps you did your research regarding rent laws when you found your current place. You may even know what lines your landlord can’t cross when it comes to that issue.However, you may not be aware of other rights you have as a tenant. This article discusses two of those rights and what you can do if your landlord violates those rights.
Your security deposit
Did you have to pay a security deposit when you signed your lease? If so, your landlord should have provided you with a receipt. The amount of your deposit and the name of the bank, along with its address, should appear on it. Another thing you should know is that the property owner can’t mix your deposit in with his or her own personal accounts.
When you move out, you are entitled to get your deposit back with interest. The only time your landlord may keep your deposit is to cover damage you may have caused to the unit or for rent you didn’t pay. Otherwise, that money remains yours no matter how long you live there. The property owner cannot use it for general repairs to the property or any other purpose.
You may withhold rent
Under certain and limited circumstances, you may withhold rent. If your landlord refuses to make necessary repairs to your unit that affect your right to a safe, sanitary and livable environment, you may use the money you would pay for rent to make those repairs yourself.
However, you must give your landlord the opportunity to make the repairs before you take this step. If you have already gone through the appropriate steps to make the request, but the repairs were not made, your next step includes making the request in writing. If your landlord still fails to make the repairs, you must make it clear that you will deduct the repairs from your rent payment.
If you choose to exercise this right, you need to be sure that you do it correctly in order to ensure that you, as the tenant, do not end up on the wrong side of the issue.
You may need help
When it comes to confrontations with your landlord, you may be better off making sure that you are within your rights before taking any action. New York’s landlord tenant laws can be complex and difficult to decipher. You increase your chances of achieving the outcome you need and desire by working with someone experienced in this area of law.