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New York City Landlord-Tenant Law Blog

Know your NYC tenants’ rights

Whether you are new to New York City or have lived here for years, finding housing is always a challenge. And finding a place to live is often only half the battle. Many renters have problems with their landlords and/or their buildings after they move in.

It can be extremely frustrating—or frightening—to be in this situation. If you know your rights as a renter, however, you will be able to make informed decisions about how to move forward. You can always discuss your tenants’ rights issues with a lawyer if you need further information or legal counsel.

Worried about lead paint in your apartment? You’re not alone.

In New York City, lead paint is a real concern. With so many older buildings in the city, it is not uncommon for apartments to have lead paint in them.

A law prohibiting the use of lead paint in residential dwellings was passed in 1960, but according to tenants’ rights attorney Sam Himmelstein, structures built before 1978 may still contain lead paint. 

Paying the rent: Try to keep it timely coming, and in full

If you're a New York City tenant in a rent-stabilized apartment, you could of course be one of the lucky renters who has a property ownership team that is clearly on the ball when it comes to performance regarding landlord-related duties.

Notorious landlord facing eviction

Raphael Toledano finds himself on the other side of a landlord-tenant dispute this month. He has been accused many times of evicting his tenants from units that are rent-stabilized, and now he is facing eviction from a building he claims is rent-stabilized.

Simon Baron Development, the landlord in this case, filed a housing court petition stating that Toledano's three-month lease had ended. Toledano countered by claiming that he is "entitled to a rent-stabilized lease." His argument primarily hinges on the claim that he received a 421a rider with his lease which specified the rent-stabilization requirements for the apartment.

It's certainly timely to talk heat/hot water for NYC apartments

New York City can get staggeringly cold during late autumn and winter months in any given year, making apartment dwellers painfully aware -- in the most literal sense -- when their heat and hot water isn't being supplied in the manner it should be.

When that isn't the case, occupants in dwellings with central heating need not passively acquiesce to landlord conduct that is either negligent or that willfully seeks to cut costs and unlawfully pocket money through depriving tenants of minimum comforts safeguarded by law.

A better way to choose an apartment is here

Like many NYC renters, you probably have a lot to say about your landlord—and you probably wish you knew about problems with the building before you moved in. Complaining about this to your friends and family doesn’t do much good, however. Fortunately, the new Rentlogic browser extension can help renters avoid troublesome landlords and buildings before they sign a lease.

Last week, the Rentlogic browser extension was launched. This free program uses city violations data to send landlord ratings to 200-plus apartment rental sites on the web such as StreetEasy, Apartments.com and Zillow.com. It does not, however, work with Craigslist due to the lack of specific addresses in Craigslist listings. 

The rise--and fall--of NYC real estate prices

Everyone in NYC knows that living here is expensive. In fact, if you are moving here from another city, you can expect to pay approximately twice the rent for half the apartment you currently have. What you might not know, however, is just how much real estate prices have risen over the last 10 years.

If you are considering a move, you may want to know which locations have seen price increases. Data from the real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel shows how each of the boroughs fared during this 10-year period in terms of prices for co-ops, condos and one-to-three family homes.

What are your rights as a tenant if you only have a verbal contract?

NYC residents know that there are many ways to rent an apartment or home. While most people have a written lease, this is not always the case. Sometimes landlords use more informal methods, such as a verbal agreement.

What are your options if you do not have a written lease? Does it give your landlord the freedom to change the terms of your lease agreement, including the rent, at any time?