New York, with its cities that never sleep, is the third most populated state in the good ol’ U.S. of A. It’s also home to the beautiful Niagara Falls State Park, which was the first state park in the United States. Unfortunately, also an extremely tenant-friendly state legally. That makes it extra important to be sure you know not only the state laws, but also your local ones before you invest in rental properties here.
Note: Rent stabilized areas may have unique regulations differing from those in this summary.
At a Glance:
Late Fees: There are no statutes regarding the specificity of late fees.
Security Deposit: No state law regarding the maximum allowable amount but there are laws on use and handling.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: It must be written in the lease and cannot be more than $20.
Notice to Enter: There are no laws surrounding the need for advance notice, however it is a good practice to do so.
Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:
Late Fee: There are no limitations on how much a landlord may charge when a tenant pays the rent late. With that being said, courts have disallowed a late fee when it was considered disproportionate to the rent being charged.
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Returned Payment: The fee for a returned rent payment may not exceed $20. And if the landlord desires to instill this as a fee, it must be written into the lease.
Security Deposits in New York are governed by N.Y. General Obligations § 7-101 thru 7-108. There is a different requirement for rent stabilized apartments. However, statewide, there is no stated limits on what may be collected as a security deposit. Landlord’s may not accept any amount of money that is considered a non-refundable amount to force performance of the lease.
Security deposits must be held at a financial institution located in New York. Rental properties with 6 or more units, must place security deposits in interest bearing accounts with the interest to be paid to the tenant.
The landlord is required to provide the tenant with a receipt showing the name and address of the bank, and the amount deposited.
After the tenant vacates the premises, the landlord must return the security deposit less any applicable deductions within a reasonable amount of time.
Under New York’s Real Property Law §235-b, the landlord must provide a livable and sanitary apartment. And even when the tenant or the tenant’s invitees cause the home to be uninhabitable, it does not absolve the landlord of the warranty of habitability. However, it will be the tenant’s responsibility to fix the situation.
Right of Entry:
There is no law specific to the time period a landlord should provide the tenant to enter for the purposes of making repairs, or showings, but it is suggested that 24 hours is a good time frame.
Notice to End Lease:
Ending a lease is New York is fairly cut and dry. If you have a lease in place with a definitive ending date, no notice is needed (Outside of NYC only). For month to month leases, it is one month notice that is needed or thirty days if you are in NYC.
New York state evictions (not New York City), all start with a notice of ten days’ remedy or quit notice. So, if the rent is owed, the tenant either pays, leaves or goes to court. If there is another violation, the tenant also either fixes it, moves or faces court.
Questions? Ask an Attorney!
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