UPDATES TO NEW YORK STATE’S LANDLORD/TENANT LAWS

UPDATES TO NEW YORK STATE’S LANDLORD/TENANT LAWS

On June 14, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, primarily affecting residential landlords and tenants statewide. The new laws are heavily pro-tenant and generally extend the time that tenants may remain in possession of a premises despite non-payment. Key changes include:

Eviction Proceedings

  • Landlord’s duty to mitigate damages – if a tenant vacates the leased premises prior to termination of the lease, the landlord must take “reasonable and customary actions” to re-let the premises
  • No fees, charges, or penalties other than rent may be sought in a summary proceeding
  • Service of Petition – must be made at least 10 and not more than 17 days before the return date of the Petition
  • Warrant of Eviction – tenant has 14 days after service of the eviction warrant to vacate, replacing the former 72 hour notice to vacate
  • Unlawful Eviction – punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor; $1,000 - $10,000 fine
  • 14-day adjournment of summary proceeding – must be given to tenant upon request to court, unless landlord, tenant, and court agree to a shorter time

Fees

  • Landlords may not charge application fees – subject to a background check or credit check exception
  • Tenants have a 5 day grace period to pay rent – landlord may not demand a late fee unless the payment of rent is not made within 5 days of its due date; landlord must send late notice, by certified mail, upon failure to receive rent payment within 5 days of its due date, replacing the former 3-day non-payment notice
  • Late fees may not exceed $50 or 5% of monthly rent, whichever is less

Leases

  • Notification of non-renewal of lease (including month-to-month) or rent increase by more than 5% – amount of notice now depends upon length of occupancy or length of lease term
  • 14 day written rent demand – landlords must give 14 days’ notice before commencing a summary proceeding
  • Tenant discrimination­ – a rental application may not be refused on the basis of a past or present landlord-tenant action or summary proceeding; violation of this carries a $500-$1,000 civil penalty per violation

The attorneys at Levene Gouldin & Thompson, LLP can help you with your landlord/tenant issues under the new law. For more information or questions about the new laws, please contact Jared Mack at jmack@lgtlegal.comJordan Charnetsky at jcharnetsky@lgtlegal.com  or a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Groups.

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