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New York Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Hi! I am writing this email to request your advice on terminating an off-campus housing lease in Ithaca. NY.

Hi! I'm an international student at Cornell University. My roommate and I currently live in an off-campus apartment in Ithaca. Due to the virus situation, we decided to move to Long Island and study online next semester. However, before the pandemic, we renewed and extended our lease to next... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Aug 10, 2020

The lease will govern your rights. However, as a suit for damages would not be enforceable internationally as a practical matter, there is nothing the landlord can really do. Just do not pay.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Does an existing Notice to Vacate transfer to a new property owner or do they have to issue an updated one to me?

I'm renting a house that was sold. The new owners issued a Notice to Vacate so that they could renovate and flip the house. After finding out, within a month, the cost to renovate, they are selling it. Is the 30-Day Notice they issued valid when the new owner becomes my landlord for the... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 27, 2020

Generally, a new owner steps into the shoes of the previous owner with respect to tenancy issues. However, as a result of the Covid crisis there is a moratorium on evictions until at least August 20th so you should have ample time.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can my landlord tell me to pay more money for past months rent because we are switching our lease from a year to 3 month

We want to get out of lease early bc of covid and ability to afford rent because of loss of work. Our landlord said no but said we can switch from a year lease to 3 months. They want to charge us $500 to even just start the paperwork and then $500 for June and July rent that we have already paid,... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 23, 2020

Even with the havoc that the Covid crisis has created, generally tenants remain responsible for the remaining term of any unexpired leases. If the landlord is willing to release you from the remaining term of your lease, it is not unusual to require a payment of some type. Appears that basically... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: How do I find out if I"m divorced?

I was ousted from my apt by my daughter,separated from my husband then served with divorce papers. I

I don't want divorce don't believe he wants one either.It was initiated by my daughter What should I do?

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Jul 21, 2020

If there is an index number on the divorce papers you can check with the court.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: can i break my lease for unresolved cockroach and bed bug infestation?

Yes a tenant in the same building over a year ago had a very bad infestation. Management did not act quickly but said the tenant would not allow access. The policy here is to spray each apartment once a month. Consequently many of the apartment s are overrun with roaches. Because of Managements... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 21, 2020

What happened last year isn't particularly relevant to your current question. If the apartment is rendered uninhabitable because of conditions such as needed repairs or infestation, this can be considered a breach of the warranty of habitability leading to the constructive eviction of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I have a store in queens opened in August 2019 .. I was paying rent before Covid hit .. now I have 4 months rent due

My landlord sent me a lawyerS notice and does not want to forgive any rent ... I’m not even making basic store expenses what to do ...

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 17, 2020

Unfortunately, many small business tenants are in the same position you described. Although there is an Executive Order that places a moratorium on evictions until August 20th, rent payments that became due during the COVID-19 crisis have not been abated and remain due. My firm has been... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: We need to leave our office due to covid downturn in biz after 16 yrs but have no "get out early" clause.

We have never not paid the rent except in the last month where we paid 50% as our business income has gone to zero since Covid started. Landlord suggested one smaller office space but cost to move and fact that we need to remove this overhead entirely means it's not necessarily a solution.... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 15, 2020

Many tenants with otherwise outstanding track records with their landlords have been unable to meet ongoing rent obligations as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Sometimes, the terms of a specific lease or guaranty can provide a basis to end a lease early or at least suspend payments that became... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: my tenant is denying me access in the last month of the lease for a plumber to fix the shower due to COVID
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 14, 2020

Many people are reluctant to have service people in their homes during the Covid crisis. If this is an emergency situation, you can commence a court proceeding to compel access. However, this generally means spending money on legal fees that are difficult or impossible to recover. Therefore, if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Does a landlord need to compensate a tenant if he choices to move out before the end of the lease?
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 14, 2020

No, and the tenant may be liable to the landlord for the remaining term of the lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: In NYC, if 2 tenants are on a lease, are those tenants permitted to take in a third occupant (non-family) as a roommate?

The lease does not prohibit it and there is sufficient space. The NY laws are just confusing.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 13, 2020

No. See Real Property Law §235-f

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I have a question regarding Bronx residents rights. My father passed in Oct. When him and I signed the lease 5 yearsago

Management knew that I wont be on the lease but id be living there as I went with him to sign the lease. I've done some research on squatters rights but iam unsure if it pertains to me. I'd like to stay with the apartment but would like to advise management. This building is not Section 8... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 11, 2020

If the building is subject to Rent Stabilization or other rent regulation, you may be entitled to succession rights provided you lived with your farther for the required time before he passed. Even if that isn’t the case, many landlords would be happy to keep on a good tenant

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: my landlord wanted come in my house without notice i sead i nead some time so he got mad and sead well ill just kick you

can he kick me out just for asking fore some notice

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 11, 2020

Unless you are protected by a lease or live in rent-regulated property, a landlord does not need a reason to terminate your tenancy. However, a landlord has to go to court and obtain a judgment of possession first and can’t just lock you out

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: What are the consequences of an illegal basement apartment in Brooklyn?

I'm thinking of converting my cellar into a one bedroom "apartment". It will have a full three fixture bathroom, a kitchen fixture, a door connecting to the outside and most likely a 3x2 window to the outside. I'll be adding a fire alarm and a monoxide detector as well for... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 10, 2020

Why not just make it legal and convert your home into a two family? You are not correct about there being no inspections. Also, you cannot enforce a lease of an illegal space. It also will hinder any sale or refinancing. Finally, it violates your insurance, and could lead to a lack of coverage.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My landlord yesterday came and changed locks threw my belongings in garbage and packed boxes

He had an individual I do not know stay to do this cos had to come and let me in my home after just losing to sisters in 24 hrs he tries to throw me and my stuff and kids on street to pandemic he is a business owner and should no better then to change locks and throw my stuff in a dumpster he just... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 8, 2020

You can call the police. If you have proof that you live at that property the police should compel the landlord to restore you to possession. In the event the police are not helpful, you may file an emergency OSC with the NYC Housing Court, which has been hearing emergency applications throughout... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: my current rent fee is now $2100 . 20+ years ago i paid deposit of $1100 so i wanted to use that as my last pay of rent.

does my security deposit $1100 20 years ago could incur interest. Can i use it as my last month rent without paying difference from the $2100 rent now.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 7, 2020

The security deposit is used to compensate a landlord for possible damage to an apartment by a tenant and is not intended to be used for the last month's rent. Landlord's are not generally required to keep security deposits in an interest bearing account. If they due, a landlord is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: been a tenant for 20+ years in my apt in queens ny. I wanted to use my security deposit $20+ years ago of $1100

Been renting more 20 yrs in my apt in woodside NY, (queens) and did alot of renovations and never bothered my landlord for anything. Before pandemic my landlord told me she needed her apt back to use she gave me 1 month notice. I told them i will look for an apt but till then i will continue paying... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 7, 2020

If you are moving at the end of the month, the Landlord has no means to enforce the demand for an additional security deposit before you move. Unless a tenant has an explicit agreement with a Landlord to provide reimbursement for renovations, a Landlord is not obligated to reimburse a tenant and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Hello. I would like to leave my lease is it possible?

Landlord said that subletting is not allowed there but in our lease says that it is allowed. We also been making noise complaints and bleaching our clothes by the upstairs neighbors and the landlord doesn't do anything about it. In winter last year we called the landlord saying that we... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 7, 2020

Provided you have a lease that is still in force, the specific language of that lease control the terms of your tenancy. Some leases say subleasing is allowed if landlord consents, some say subleasing is allowed if landlord consent but landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent and some say no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I break a comm. office sublease in NYC if I discovered the Cert. of Occupancy is for storage only, not office use?

It’s a hosting agreement, avoids the word ‘lease’, so perhaps not technically a sublease.

I never took occupancy.

Landlord was ok with us delaying start date due to Covid19, but now wants to begin term.

In researching NYC phase 2 Covid19 reopening guidance, I... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 2, 2020

It depends on the terms of your lease. If you took "as is" and there is no representation that it is for office use, you might have problems. If there is such a representation, you have a defense if the landlord comes after you for the money.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I was engaged and rented an apartment with my partner but I traveled for work, so I never got to sign the 1 year lease.

My partner and I broke up? He still lives there and the lease comes to an end by the end of July 2020. I had informed the landlord of our break up, and that we are no longer together, but I continue to pay the rent for the committed lease of 1 year. How will it affect me should the ex fiancé... Read more »

Gregory Byrnes
Gregory Byrnes answered on Jun 30, 2020

It depends on the lease terms. Typically tenants will be jointly and severally responsible for the rent amount.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Is it legal for my landlord to make me get rid of one of my cars that I don't drive if it is registered and insured?

I live in upstate NY. I am allowed 2 spots in my driveway. The car is legal (insured and registered with plates on it), I'm just not driving it right now. There is a dent on the side of the vehicle that may be "unpleasant" to look at. He gave me 30 days to remove it from the... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jun 26, 2020

If you do not have a lease and are not a rent-regulated tenant, the landlord has no obligation to keep you on as a tenant. Provided the landlord's actions do not otherwise violate the law, such as being discriminatory, the landlord can ask you to move for any reason including not liking the... Read more »

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