Q: I rent a house in upstate New York. I'm looking for legal advice on landlord/tenant issues. I have a question
I rent a house in upstate New York. I signed a lease that says tenant is responsible for repairs under $500. A friend just told me that she thinks that this is not legal. So Now I'm wondering if that is true. Even if I signed the lease if that is not legal, am I bound to be responsible for repairs under $500? And is that a thing? So many people say they've never even heard of that on a lease. But it is a house not apartment so I wondered if maybe that's different and that's what people don't know?
A: There's nothing illegal about drawing a line in the sand and saying the tenant is responsible for small-ticket items and the landlord is responsible for large-ticket items. $500 seems like a reasonable number for that purpose. If you agreed (by signing the lease) you are bound.
Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer
A: Nothing is shocking about the lease provision you described when a tenant rents an entire house not located within New York City. What would you do? Refusing to pay for the repair that your lease provides is your responsibility is a breach of the lease. Make the repair and sue the landlord in Small Claims Court only for a Town Justice to rule in the landlord's favor and perhaps even grant legal fees.
Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer
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