New York State law regulates several rent-related issues, including rent control and stabilization, and how much time a tenant has to pay overdue rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction. New York law also sets limits on the duration of time the security deposit can be kept by the landlord after the tenant has moved out, as well as on the amount of the deposit.

Under New York law, landlords must disclose specific information on deposits to tenants. Those disclosures vary from county to county.

Part of a landlord’s responsibility to provide habitable premises includes the obligation to warn tenants about hidden (not obvious) aspects of the rental property that could cause injury or substantially interfere with tenants’ safe enjoyment and use of the dwelling.

New York tenants are legally entitled to rental property that meets basic structural, health, and safety standards, and is in good repair. If a landlord fails to take care of important maintenance, such as a leaky roof or a broken heater, you have several important legal rights, including:

  • the right to withhold rent until repairs are made, and
  • the right to “repair and deduct”—that is, to hire a repairperson to fix a serious defect that makes a unit unfit (or buy a replacement part or item and do it yourself) and deduct the cost from your rent.

However, before you can withhold rent or use the repair and deduct remedy, make sure the circumstances justify you paying a lower rent, and that you comply with legal requirements on things such as notice that must be provided to the landlord..

State laws specify when and how a landlord may terminate a tenancy. Please consult your attorney when making a termination decision.

New York state law prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants. The kinds of retaliatory acts covered by New York law include terminating a tenancy or filing an eviction lawsuit; increasing the rent; or decreasing services, such as locking the laundry room. New York state law presumes retaliation if the landlord acts in these types of negative ways within six months of the date when a tenant has exercised their legal right, such as complaining to the landlord about an unsafe heater in the apartment.

Fair Housing and Discrimination Statute restrict landlord’s ability to choose tenants. This statute prohibits a landlord from refusing to rent, or from requiring different rents, as well as from providing different services to facilities based on tenants’ race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status. (children under 18)

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