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New York Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Wife has a business, opened in March. Roof leaks whenever it rains. What rights do she have against landlord?

She hosts young children for early life education through a variety of programs. Whenever it rains, it pours through the ceiling with video proof. She has to cancel classes, refund parents and as a new business risks families going else where. What can she do to make the landlord fix the roof? Or... Read more »

Seth Meyerson
Seth Meyerson answered on Oct 27, 2020

What does the lease say? Usually, leaks, even in commercial property are the responsibility of the Landlord.

So, your options are probably:

1. Repair and deduct,

2. Sue for breach of contract, or

3. Declare the lease breached and leave.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can a landlord or owner ask pre-screening questions before scheduling a tour of a unit? If so, what can they ask?

When I call to set up a tour of an apartment, some people ask about my income, credit, number of people living with me etc. Seems unnecessary to have to answer these when I don't even know if I like the unit yet. What is the legality to them pre-screening on the phone?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 27, 2020

Similar to how you don't want to waste time answerin unnecessary questions, many landlords don't want to waste time showing apartments to prospective tenants who might not meet the criteria need to rent an apartment. As long as the questions don't run afoul of any existing laws or... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord told me to vacate the property due to "roommate conflict". How do I ensure receiving my security back?

My landlord communicated thru a 3rd party (my mother) 10.13/14 to vacate my current rental due to roommate conflict 2 months into a 12 month rental. There is no current conflict, but I have found alternative housing. Everything thus far has been verbal and thru my mother. How do I ensure my... Read more »

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Oct 26, 2020

Justin, this is a little more detailed than can be written in this forum with justice. Consider calling me, or another Justia attorney, to help answer your questions and give you the best answer possible. My phone number is on my profile.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I withhold rent from my landlord if he is aware of a rodent issue & doesn’t do anything about it?
Toshinori Isoai
Toshinori Isoai answered on Oct 26, 2020

The answer to your question will be " depends...", but if the rodent infestation has been established as well as its serious interference with your living, and your landlord knows about it, probably you can. There is an implied warranty of habitability under the New York Real Property Law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can a landlord impose a fee, outside of deducting from the security deposit, for "normal wear and tear"?

My Landlord has sent a new lease for the year with added language, different from the previous lease, that stipulates that I agree to "pay the sum of $350 as and for the Landlord's cost to clean and sanity the appliances and offset the Landlord's cost of ordinary wear and tear... Read more »

Toshinori Isoai
Toshinori Isoai answered on Oct 23, 2020

It's a contract, so as long as the parties thereto are in agreement with the conditions and terms, then the clause can take effect (enforceable). Negotiating a lower amount or adding a phrase that allows you to get your own cleaning company at Tenant's expense, etc, may be your option here.

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Why can't I find a lawyer to serve mold remediation co. Who already admitted guilt? In manhattan no less!

Sept 2018 flood in nyc condo- subsequent mold confirmed esp significantly high levels aspergillus & penicillium. Only Owner/ex husband is on home ins policy which he received$20,000 ins check Oct 10- yet did not schedule mold remediation until Dec 10-13 - 'not a reasonable amount of time... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 21, 2020

There are resources here for finding lawyers (Find-a-Lawyer tab above). The NYC Bar also has a lawyer referral service. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My mother just died and has 6 months left on her lease. Are we liable for the rent if the landlord rents to someone else

We just wanted to know if it's in our best interests to vacate as soon as possible. I assume the landlord will get a much higher rent since it's rent stabilized. Can the landlord charge double rent, i.e., to my mom's estate and to the new tenant? I don't think so, but just thought i'd confirm.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 17, 2020

No. The landlord can only recover lost rent. If he rents it out it is not lost.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can my landlord involve relatives in ongoing issue?

As per our oral agreement, rent should be collected on every 1st of the month. Tenants will inform the landlord over the phone that the rent is ready.

However, this month my landlord did not answer his phone on the 1st so I called again on the 2nd he answered and was rude but he was... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 15, 2020

If the landlord make false statements about you, you may have a cause of action for libel or slander but difficult cases and damages are likely not to be worth the cost of litigating.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My landlord keeps involving my father in ongoing issues we have in our apartment although he moved out in 2018.

They keep saying "we rent the apartment to him" and will call him up whenever they have an issue. He made it clear he does not live or visit the apartment and they should put another tenant in the apartment responsible for the ongoing issues.

What should I Tell my landlord?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 15, 2020

Is there a lease for the apartment. If so, provide the landlord with contact info for the named together with instructions that the named tenant be contacted in the future. Your father can simply block the calls

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord attempted to enter my apartment forcibly.

Landlord claimed to smell illegal drugs, he attempts to push me out the way to enter the appartment, I informed him that's illegal, if he think I'm doing something illegal, call the cops, he did so, they found nothing because I don't any type of drugs. What made me mad is the fact he... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 14, 2020

You can file a police complaint. You could also file a civil case against the landlord to prevent future attempts to push past you; however, most would not want to invest the funds necessary to litigate the matter and instead simply take precautions such as setting up video recording equiptment in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I sue my landlord in small claims court for a noise nuisance?

My landlord has refused to do anything about an noisy heating pipe that makes extremely loud banging and hammering noises for the last 2 winters. It has severely impacted my ability to sleep and live and now with Covid-19, work. I've sent them multiple requests including a formal letter in the... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 13, 2020

"Quiet Enjoyment" is a legal term of art that probably doesn't mean what you think it does; however, you may have the right to demand the landlord correct the noise condition and even receive a partial rent abatement until the situation is corrected. If your landlord is not taking... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can my landlord keep my security deposit SOLELY because I ended my lease early. (All rent is paid)

In NY. I moved out Sept 15th and paid rent for Oct. They have already rerented the apartment and I haven't been offered any return of Oct rent or the security deposit.

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Oct 9, 2020

Are you in NY or MA?

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I live I'm a apartment complex. My ceiling collapsed in my living room on 8-21-2020 due to neglect over the past 3 years

I live I'm a apartment complex. My ceiling collapsed in my living room on 8-21-2020 due to neglect over the past 3 years. The ceiling has leaked each year since 2017 and all the maintenance did was plaster over the crack and then finally sealed the outside roof Oct 2019. The material that fell... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 8, 2020

Call the Housing Department of the Buffalo City government. This should be a violation and emergency repair.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Interest account for a deposit. Are the tenants supposed to get the option of what happens to the interest each year

Trailer park with over 100 units

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 5, 2020

Landlords are generally entitled to keep up to 1% of any earned interest on security deposits to cover administrative costs. Honestly with interest rates as low as they are, that doesn't leave much opportunity for any meaningful amounts to be earned from interest.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I negotiate with landlord to stay at my apartment after receiving a termination of lease?

Hello. I received a termination of lease by landlord in July 2020. My lease if up Nov 2020. I have been looking for an apartment for months now and I cannot find. They want three times my salary. I recently got layed off because of covid 19 pandemic but have some savings. I am not sure what to do.... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 5, 2020

There is always room for negotiations. In any event, if you don't reach an agreement before your lease terminates, the landlord can't just lock you out but will have to commence a court case. If the landlord won't give you time, the court may.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Where do I go when a landlord is not returning security deposit. It is now 60 days since vacating apartment.

Gave 90 days written notice. Met all lease obligations

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 29, 2020

If in NYC, when the Small Claims Court opens, you can commence a case there.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I moved in with my girlfriend and her mother who are both on the lease . Her mother is trying to kick me out ?

I have lived here for over 7 years and receive mail and public assistance in the same address

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Sep 28, 2020

You have rights. However your rights are heavily dependent on facts. You’ve not included any here. Feel free to let me know the rest of the facts and I can give you a better answer!

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Wanted to terminate my lease earlier because of financial hardship due to COVID -19!

Due to the pandemic, I experience financial hardship. I tried to negotiate the rent but the landlord won't assist on that matter except using their hardship program which we did use the deposit to pay the month of September rent. I was looking at different alternatives and also to terminate my... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 23, 2020

When you sign a lease you are entering into a contract. The landlord is promising to rent you space for a specific use and a specific period of time. Likewise, the tenant is promising to rent a particular space for a specific use for a specified period of time. Unless there is a clause in the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: How do I get the month-to-month tenant out of a house I’m buying in NYS, so I can move in?

The tenant has no written lease with the home seller, who has neglected to tell the tenant they have to leave due to the sale of the property. How can I move in to my new home, if the tenant won’t move out?

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Sep 22, 2020

You can’t. You have a lot of issues you’ll need to address, here. This is highly fact dependent. There are a number of solutions and drawbacks. This is something you’re going to want to address now in order to get the ball rolling (although Covid is slowing things down). Feel free to give... Read more »

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