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New York Landlord-Tenant Laws

A summary of New York Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.

Security Deposit Limit

New York state has no limit on security deposits for nonregulated units. However, New York City (among other jurisdictions) with rent controlled/rent stabilized units may have local caps imposed.

New York state requires a security deposit to be kept separate from a landlord’s personal assets, but the statute does not require the deposit to made in a financial institution unless the landlord owns a residential building consisting of at least six units. then he or she must use a financial institution located in New York. (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Law §§ 7-103 to 7-108).

Deadline for Returning Security Deposit

The security deposit must be returned within a reasonable time (usually within 30 days) after the tenant has vacated and returned the keys.

If a deposit is placed in a bank, the name and address of the institution along with the amount must be disclosed to the tenant. If the landlord’s building has nonregulated units of at least six units, tenants must receive interest on the security deposit. The tenant may choose how to receive the interest payment either as a credit toward the rent, an annual payment, or one lump sum whenever tenancy ends.

Small Claims Lawsuits

A landlord-tenant case may be filed in small claims court, district court and justice court. Damages cannot exceed $5,000 for most small claims courts or $3,000 for town and village courts.

Late Fees

The collection of late fees must be addressed in the lease agreement and comply with local tenancy legislation in order to be enforceable.

Increasing Rent

There is no state statute for raising rent in New York. Local jurisdictions with rent control or rent stabilization laws provide enforcement for their specific terms. For all areas not governed by rent control or stabilization, at least a 30 day notice must given to increase a month-to-month tenancy and lease agreements of a longer duration must detail any changes in rent (if any).

Rent Control and Stabilization

Dozens of small and large communities throughout New York state are governed by either rent stabilization or rent control legislation. See below for New York State and City guidelines.

Rent regulations can be very complex and evolve over time, visit the following agencies to see if your rental unit is covered and what regulations apply:

Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent

If a landlord neglects to correct a problem within a reasonable amount of time after being notified in writing that the condition of the rental unit fails to meet health, safety or structural standards, the tenant may be able to exercise his or her right to withhold rent.

Termination and Eviction

N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 232-a [NYC] applies to an unconditional 30 day quit notice to be used for tenants holding over on a month-to-month tenancy.

N.Y. Real Prop. Acts Law § 753(4)[NYC] Regulated units must allow 10 days or as set by applicable rent regulation to cure or quit any lease violation. Nonregulated unit violations are dictated by the provisions written into the lease regarding cure or quit notice periods.

Local communities should be researched for their current requirements.

Domestic Violence

N.Y. Family Law §842 Court may issue an order of protection requiring respondent to “stay away” from the home, or any other location specified by the court.

Tenant Screening

See New York Tenant Screening Laws.

New York Lease Agreement

See New York Residential Lease.

New York Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes

New York Real Prop. Law §§ 220 to 238; Real Prop. Acts §§ 701 to 853; Mult. Dwell. Law (all); Mult. Res. Law (all); Gen. Oblig. Law §§ 7-103 to 7-109.