Is Your Landlord Playing Games With Lease Renewal?
When a lease is up for renewal, it can be a vulnerable time for a tenant. Landlords who want to oust tenants from rent-regulated apartments sometimes try to turn the renewal into a dispute about a broken lease, with the tenant at fault. If you’re not careful about the way you handle renewing your lease, it’s possible to end up in court with your tenancy at risk.
These legal problems can arise at lease renewal time:
- Your landlord doesn’t send you the renewal lease papers.
- You send in the renewal lease but don’t receive a signed copy back.
- The landlord attempts to make unauthorized changes to your regulated lease.
- Your landlord refuses to accept rent at renewal time.
- Your rent checks are no longer cashed when your lease term ends.
- Rent is accepted but the renewal lease is still never sent back to you.
- Your landlord claims never to have received the renewal lease you sent and initiates eviction proceedings.
- The landlord rescinds “preferential rent” rates offered at the beginning of your tenancy, which you may still be legally entitled to.
- Your building was converted to a co-op or condo and your lease won’t be renewed.
- You’re a senior citizen or disabled and your renewal rights are violated.
- You live in an “unregulated unit” that actually qualifies for rent-stabilized protections, but the landlord doesn’t renew the lease or demands too high a rent increase.
- There’s a dispute surrounding the renewal of a lease in your parent’s name, or other leaseholder with whom you have a family-type relationship, and you want succession rights.
- You’ve sublet your apartment to someone who doesn’t vacate as planned when the lease renews.
These aren’t the only difficulties. If you don’t act promptly in completing the appropriate documents, or have proof you sent them to the landlord in a timely manner when your lease is up for renewal, you could end up with a legal problem. Some landlords will take advantage of any opportunity to evict a regulated tenant. Or you may inadvertently give the landlord the option of either considering the lease renewed, and be on the hook for the rent when you’d planned to leave.