If I bother, later I'll pull up the citation. One protection is a state law called the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, which prohibits evictions against tenants who have suffered financial hardship during the pandemic. John S. Lansden is the Supervising Judge of the New York City Civil Court, Housing Part, Queens County. As a landlord, you certainly don't want your tenants to engage in illegal activities on your property, especially if they cause a disturbance with other tenants or the surrounding neighborhood. However, in New York City, where illegal rentals are an ongoing problem, landlords can face up to $15,000 in fines. Lease Termination Notice Requirements in New York. 1 Even if a tenant signed a lease that bans subletting, that clause is illegal and unenforceable. New York is a city of renters. New York tenants have to provide written notice for the following lease term: Notice to terminate a month-to-month lease. New York landlords can demand a maximum of 1 month’s rent as security deposit from which unpaid rent, damage caused by the tenant, utility charges, and costs of storing or moving the tenant’s belongings. Specifically, in the city of NY, all rents paid in regard to an illegal apartment cannot be legally retained. It must be returned within 14 days after the tenant vacates the premises. Beware of no-lease apartments. Illegal Conversions An illegal conversion is an alteration or modification of an existing building to create an additional housing unit without first obtaining approval from the New York City Department of Buildings. Does he have legal right to do that? However, you might have grounds to sue your landlord, if you can prove that they misrepresented the apartment as legit when they knew, in fact, it was not. The New York State Human Rights Law also makes it illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant based on creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status. Unlawful evictions of a tenant are now a misdemeanor, subject to a fine of at least $1,000. For example, it's illegal to discriminate against or refuse to rent to someone based on protected characteristics such as race, military status, and sexual orientation. The 2019 New York rent laws changed the housing landscape for roughly 5.4 million people. Hon. may be deducted. One month if outside New York City (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-b). City Orders Tenants Of Illegal Brooklyn Apartment to Vacate - But with Nowhere to Go During Pandemic By Michael Herzenberg Brooklyn PUBLISHED 6:49 AM ET Jul. In spite of tragedies like this, the number of illegal apartments uncovered by officials is on the rise in the city. In a subsequent trial, prosecutors argued that the un-permitted walls tenants put up at 236 East 178th St. to add bedrooms made a confusing labyrinth for firefighters responding to the conflagration. Be suspicious of a landlord who declines to draw up a lease, requests a month-to-month agreement or requires cash payments. This was funny: Landlords and property owners, however, often fail to comply with this law. Met Council on Housing’s tenants’ right telephone hotline is a unique service in that we offer free advice to tenants who need to advocate for themselves. If a landlord tries to evict a tenant based on any of these characteristics, the tenant … Law § 7-103). The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) Tenant Help Line is available to answer questions about your tenancy and whether the orders or law may apply to you, and to connect you with free legal assistance through the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice. Instead of 10 days to fix most lease violations, tenants now have 30 days. Box. It clarified that there is no statute of … For more information about security deposits in New York, check out New York … New York Termination and Eviction Rules For example, a landlord cannot deny you an apartment because you sued your previous landlord to make repairs. The June law made it much easier for tenants to challenge an illegal overcharge or deregulation, tenant lawyers say. A Manhattan tenant accused of annoying neighbors by chain-smoking in her apartment during the coronavirus lockdown can continue to light up … A landlord without a certificate of occupancy for a dwelling runs the risk that the tenant being evicted will retain an attorney to try to recover all or part of the rent paid for the "illegal" apartment, in particular, when the tenant had no reason to have knowledge that the rented apartment was illegal before being sued. If the apartment is illegal in a way that constitutes a safety risk—such as an apartment that doesn't have appropriate fire egress, or a building with questionable structural integrity—it's possible … There's a bar to the collection of rent, but that's not a basis to recover rent you previously paid." Failure to provide heat or hot water on a ... Law § 5-701). … Specifically, New York State’s 2011 multiple dwelling laws make short term rentals of less than 30 days illegal in Class A buildings. New York Tenant Rights Laws: From Security Deposits to Building Repairs New York laws cover a wide range of topics pertaining to the landlord-tenant relationship. "If you voluntarily pay rent in an illegal apartment, you cannot get it back. That penalty for renting an illegal apartment does not include any fines the landlord … Check for adequate means of egress (way out) and look out for locked doors in the unit. Landlords cannot participate in “rent gouging,” by increasing rent in order to capitalize on the crisis. All tenants* are protected from this kind of retaliation by law. No More “Tenant Blacklists” • A landlord cannot deny you an apartment, rental home, or any other type of rental based on a past legal conflict with a landlord. The Appellate Term held that contrary to the small claims court’s ruling, “there is no bar to the recovery of rent when a dwelling that has a certificate of occupancy as a one-family dwelling contains an illegal apartment. New York law allows landlords to do this, provided they return the remainder of the deposit to the tenant within a14 days following the tenant's lease termination (N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Penalties can vary dramatically from one city to the next. It is illegal for … The Multiple Residence Law, Real ... are illegal. It is illegal for landlords in New York to retaliate against tenants who make a good faith complaint to them or to a government agency. It is only in the Multiple Dwelling Law that the Legislature has seen fit to impose a forfeiture of rent as a penalty.” Answer: The best course of action will depend on in what way your apartment is illegal, says Sam Himmelstein, a lawyer who represents residential and commercial tenants and tenant associations. Most New York renters have the legal right to sublet The majority of New Yorkers have the legal right to sublease their apartment. 29, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:49 AM EDT Jul. Tenants who lease apartments must negotiate the rent, the duration of the lease, and the conditions of occupancy Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent in New York Tenants may withhold rent or exercise the right to “repair and deduct” if a landlord fails to take care of important repairs, such as a broken heater. That biggest landlord (New York City - NYCHA) constantly violates their own law! Examples of illegal conversions include: Using a property zoned for manufacturing or industrial use for residential occupancy; Damon P. Howard is a partner at Ephron-Justice Lebovits and Mr. Howard have co-authored Mandel & Howard in New York City. In New York State, tenants’ rights are protected by a variety of federal, state and local laws. Therefore, by law, renting your apartment for less than 30 days is not considered a sublet in New York City, and it’s illegal. New York State Attorney General Tenants' Rights Guide Legal assistance New York City Commission on Human Rights complaints - (212) 306-7450 (local law protects from discrimination based on source of income, including HCV/Section 8) In New York City’s Housing Courts, 90% of tenants facing an eviction do not have legal representation, while 98% of landlords do. In 1982, the City Council of New York passed the Unlawful Eviction Law, a local ordinance making it illegal for any person, without a court order, to evict or attempt to evict an occupant who either has a lease or has lawfully occupied the unit for thirty or more consecutive days. For specifics, see New York Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent or “Repair and Deduct”. In NYC (Bronx and Manhattan) a tenant in an illegal apartment may cease paying rent and if sued by the landlord for rent defend the case based on illegal dwelling (not on Certificate of Occupancy) and illegal or unregistered multiple dwelling. This right applies to tenants who live … In New York, a tenant is not required to provide notice for fixed end date leases (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-b). These complaints may include violations of health and safety laws, issues with habitability or non-repair of the premises, or violations of rights under a lease. Landlords advertising illegal apartments will often request that tenants obtain a separate P.O. That is the fact and the law. In the 2019 NYC heat season alone, there have been over 3,000 heat-related complaints filed by tenants with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Tenants living in illegally converted basement apartments often come to Chhaya's Jackson Heights storefront to ask for help with problems like no heat, mold or a sudden rent hike. No. My landlord keeps threatening to kick me out. justice in New York County, teaches landlord-tenant law at Fordham University School of Law. The "illegal" apartment should not show up on the building's Certificate of Occupancy. The OP does not know the law, is ignorant of his rights, and has questions in regard to the consequences. New York tenants still have some eviction protections — at least until the end of the year — but not a full blown moratorium. 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