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Landlord Rights NYC | The NYC Landlord Tenant Law

May 16, 2014

People are selfish. It's a fact of life. This is why Facebook posts are invariably about how the poster feels about all other Facebook posts , Kim Kardashian does phony charity trips to boost her image, and 17 year old girls will never converse about anything but themselves.

This unfortunate fact also means that most tenants don't care that much about the other side of the coin: landlord rights in NYC. A common theme among tenants goes along the lines of: "Aren't landlords the big, bad money-grabbers charging us exorbitant rents and kicking us out for the smallest things? They don't need rights: they already have all the power."

However, that's just patently not true. Quite a few landlords managing their own small places, independent of big-time management companies, have just as much struggles trying to find and manage tenants who aren't unruly and loud. Consequently, we've put together a quick list of what landlords ARE entitled to under NYC laws, and when they can legally kick tenants out.

Landlord Rights NYC

1. Right to Collect the Rent on Time

Well, duh. There's more to it, though. If any payment of rent is missing, the landlord can file papers to begin the legal process of eviction IMMEDIATELY after the payment is missed. However, most landlords will typically give a week to a month of extra time, to save themselves the legal hassles of eviction. Once the landlord has begun court proceedings and obtains a judgement of possession / Warrant of Eviction, the landlord can legally kick the tenant out after a reasonable amount of time to move their belongings out.

2. Right to Have Clean Surroundings

Thought it's the landlord's job to keep the hallways, elevator, and stairs clean, the tenant is equally responsible to keep their belongings and trash out of these areas. Furthermore, tenants must keep their apartments in a good condition, as determined by the landlord. Excessive damage or hassle can be added as a charge on the tenant's rent or security deposit.

3. Right to Enter Tenant's Apartment Reasonably

In order to enforce the above rule, landlords have the right to enter their tenant's apartment to confirm that everything is in order and nothing is damaged/illegal/destructive. However, the landlord must inform the tenants ahead of time, and excessive entries are not permitted, though this definition is ambiguous.

4. Right to be Notified of Apartment Damage

If there is damage to the apartment at no fault of the tenant, such as a leaking pipe or blown fuse, then it is the right of the landlord to be informed as soon as possible to ensure rapid repair of the problem. Lingering problems such as water leakage can cause greater damage as time goes on, so it is to everyone's benefit if the landlord can take care of the crisis rapidly.

5. No Responsibility for Tenant Damages

If the apartment has been damaged under the responsibility of the tenant, such as large holes in the walls appearing, broken appliances and smoke-covered walls or carpets, the landlord has the right to demand that the cost of repairs come out of the tenant's security deposit.

6. Right to Advance Notice When Leaving

The landlord has the right to at minimum, a month's notice before the tenant leaves an apartment. This rule is enforced to ensure that landlords have a reasonable amount of time to find a replacement renter for the apartment room.

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