Apartment hunting can be a grueling process. When you finally find a place that works for you, you want to make sure you can stay there for as long as you like. So it’s important to understand the terms of your lease, including whether you have the right to renew it.

In a rent stabilized unit in New York City, you have a right to select a renewal lease term of one or two years. Your renewal lease is required to be on the same terms and conditions as the expiring lease, so it’s important to read them to be certain.

Are there circumstances under which you cannot renew?

Your landlord may have grounds to refuse to renew your lease. These reasons can include:

  • You don’t use the unit as your primary residence.
  • You fail to return the signed renewal lease to the landlord within 60 days of receiving it.
  • A member of the landlord’s immediate family needs the apartment for their primary residence and can show an immediate and compelling necessity. However, if you are disabled or a senior citizen, or have lived in the apartment 15 or more years, there are different rules that protect your right to the apartment.
  • The landlord intends to demolish or “gut rehab.”

Even if these conditions apply, you may be entitled to renew the lease if the landlord fails to provide you with written notice in person or via mail within at least 90 days and no more than 150 days before the expiration of the current lease.

Landlords and tenants have a responsibility to follow the regulations of the lease renewal process. If you think your landlord is not complying with the law, you may want to get legal advice.