New York Landlord-Tenant Laws
Tenant Screening New York State
If you’re looking for information specific to tenant screening in NYS then be sure to check out our landlord’s guide on NYS. It has plenty of free resources and forms to help guide you to the best tenant.
Reporting guidelines for bankruptcies, judgments/liens, and evictions are set by the Federal Credit Reporting Agency (FCRA). The FCRA has determined that:
- Judgments are reportable for up to 7 years from the filing or released date
- Liens are reportable for up to 7 years from the filing or released date
- Evictions are reportable for up to 7 years from the filing or release date (In NY, evictions cannot be used as adverse action for denying an applicant)
- Bankruptcies are reportable for up to 10 years
New York has one of the strictest guidelines for reporting criminal records on tenant screening reports. For instance:
- Conviction records (felonies, misdemeanors, and traffic citations) are only reportable for 7 years from disposition date
- If someone was charged with a crime but not convicted, it is not reportable
- If the case is pending, it is not reportable
- If someone has an arrest record, it is not reportable
Here are a few of the top landlord rights for rental property owners in New York State. Keep in mind New York is a landlord-friendly state.
Under Articles 6 and 8 of New York’s Real Property Laws, landlords have legal rights against tenants who violate leases, including those who decide to extend the lease term unilaterally or fail to pay rent on time.
It’s true that landlords may deduct past due rental costs from security deposits or begin the eviction process to recover property from holdover tenants or tenants who stay in their rentals without paying rent.
A landlord in New York State can also enter into a lease agreement that is both written or oral.
Lease Renewal Rights
Besides homes that are subject to strict regulations regarding rent or rent stabilization ordinances, landlords in New York State have a right to refuse renewals of their lease agreements at the end of the tenancy period.
The following includes what New York State Landlords should be paying close attention to while owning a rental property.
Warranty of habitability
The warranty of habitability means making sure that your rental property is safe and livable at all times.
Every multiple dwelling, including its roof or roofs, and every part thereof and the land upon which it is situated, shall be kept in good repair.
View additional responsibilities of landlords in this post.
Keep every part of a rental property, the lot on which it is situated, and the roofs, yards, courts, passages, areas or alleys appurtenant thereto, clean and free from vermin, dirt, filth, garbage or other thing or matter dangerous to life or health.
As a landlord in New York State, you can begin the eviction process after the issuance of the written notice. Please note, the landlord must have allowed enough time to pass before beginning to file for eviction.
For more information on evictions, check out this page.
Section 8 Rules
This program works by partnering with owners of existing housing units, apartment communities and private landlords across New York. First things first, the landlord needs to agree to accept the section 8 housing voucher as a form of payment.
In New York, it is illegal for landlords and brokers to discriminate against prospective renters based on their source of income. It is also illegal for landlords or brokers to express a preference for non-voucher holders or publish anything indicating they would refuse to accept renters who receive housing assistance.
Section 8 Rules specific to NYC can be found here.
Section 8 Rules for NYS Landlords can be found here.
New York State law sets the limit that landlords can collect for security deposits to one month’s rent. Since many municipalities within the state have rent control, it’s important for landlords to comply with local regulations.
New York law requires landlords of buildings with six more units to put a tenant’s security deposit in a New York bank in an interest-bearing account. Landlords must pay the interest to the tenant annually unless the tenant chooses to receive the interest in a lump sum at the end of the tenancy.
The state laws of New York require landlords to return the security deposit within 14 days after the tenant moves out and surrenders the rental property.
New York laws concerning security deposits can be found here.
Regarding Application Fees
As of 2019, NYS landlords may only charge up to $20 for application fees when screening tenants. Applicant’s also cannot be denied due to a previous eviction, landlords who use this data to deny a tenant applicant are in violation of new regulations.
Regarding Tenant Bad Checks
Civil Penalties: Amount of the original check, plus up to two times that amount (cannot exceed $750).
Criminal Penalties: The tenant could get up to 3 months in jail, or up to a $500 fine.
Allowable Fees: $20
Regarding Notice of Termination for Nonpayment
In New York, a landlord must give a tenant at least 10 days in which to pay rent or vacate. After that, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings.