Landlord-Tenant Law

I am a rent stabilized tenant. There are numerous dogs that live in my building. Approximately four months ago I purchased a dog. My landlord has now served me with eviction papers threatening to evict me unless I remove the dog from my apartment. Does the landlord have the right to do this? (NY)

Ownership a dog for over three months on a premises in which a landlord knew or reasonably should have known of the presence of the dog, entitles a tenant to keep the dog pursuant to the New York City Administrative Code. New York landlord tenant law further stipulates that if the dog was in the residence less than three months, if the dog is required due to a physical or mental disability, the landlord may be required to allow the dog to remain pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. If court proceedings result from the landlord's eviction notice and the judge find in favor of the landlord, pursuant to New York law, the tenant is granted ten days after the completion of trial to remove the dog from the apartment and still maintain tenancy.
(Courtesy of Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


I am temporarily going to be relocating to Chicago for 10 months due to the fact that I am supervising the opening of my company branch location there. I have asked my landlord if I would be allowed to sublease my apartment during the period that I am gone. The landlord advised me that he does not allow subleasing. What is my recourse? (NY)

Pursuant to Real Property Law Section 226-B, in New York, a tenant has the right to sublease an apartment for a period of not more than two years during every four year period. Pursuant to the statute, a tenant is required to provide the landlord with certain information including the reason for subleasing the address during the sublease period, the permanent and work addresses of the subtenant and a notarized copy of the proposed sublease. A tenant must also declare their intent to return to the apartment upon the expiration of the sublease. The landlord then has the right to ask additional questions and must inform the tenant of consent or denial of the sublease request within thirty days thereafter. If a tenant believes that the landlord unreasonably withheld consent, the tenant may proceed with the sublease. However this is a complicated matter which may require judicial intervention and legal representation by an attorney conversant with New York landlord tenant law. Please refer to the following question and answer for more relevant information.
(Courtesy of Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


I want to sublet my apartment for one year but my landlord won't let me. My employer is temporarily transferring me to the California office. I expect to return in approximately one year. I don't want to lose my rent stabilized apartment. When I asked my landlord for permission to sublet he told me absolutely not and if I put anyone else in the apartment he will have me and my subtenant evicted. What can I do? (NY)

A landlord may not unreasonably withhold consent to the sublet provided a tenant follows the procedures set forth in Real Property Law §226-b. The statute requires that a tenant inform their landlord of the intent to sublease by mailing written notice by certified mail with a return receipt requested, providing the following information: the term of the sublease, the name of the proposed subtenant, the business and permanent home address of the proposed subtenant, tenant's reason for subletting, tenant's address for the term of the sublease, the written consent of any co-tenant or guarantor of the lease, and a copy of the proposed sublease to which a copy of tenant's lease shall be attached if available, acknowledged by tenant and proposed subtenant as being a true copy of such sublease. The Landlord has ten days after mailing of the request to sublet to ask a tenant for additional information. Within thirty days after the mailing of the tenant's request for consent or the additional information reasonably asked for by the landlord, whichever is later, the landlord is required to send notice to the tenant of consent or denial, and the reasons for the decision. If the landlord fails to send such notice, then it is deemed to consent to the proposed subletting. If the landlord unreasonably withholds consent the tenant may sublet in accordance with the request. If the landlord reasonably withholds consent there shall be no subletting. However, it is important to note that the courts have generally found almost every reason that a landlord may give for refusing to consent as unreasonable, except for the following: a tenant has no intention to return and reoccupy the subject premises as their primary residence following the expiration of the sublease; and Profiteering ┬íV that a tenant will be illegally overcharging the subtenant. A tenant may only charge the subtenant the legal regulated rent plus a 10% surcharge if the housing accommodation to be sublet is fully furnished.
(Courtesy of Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


I have numerous defective conditions in my apartment. The landlord refuses to make repairs. I have called 311 on numerous occasions and an inspector has even come to my apartment. The city has issued violations to the landlord, but he still refuses to fix the apartment. What is my recourse? (NY)

In such situations, the best alternative within the law is to file what is commonly referred to as a "HP" Action against the landlord. In an HP Action, a tenant sues the landlord for repairs of defective conditions which constitute violations. The lawsuit is commenced in Housing Court. The clerk of the court will give the tenant any necessary forms that may be required. At the court date, the judge will order that the repairs be made. If the landlord does not comply with the court's order, the landlord may be held in contempt of court, face heavy civil penalties and be imprisoned. The following link may be used to find the location of the housing courts in New York: http://www.courts.state.ny.us
(Courtesy of Association of the Bar of the City of New York)

Am I a rent regulated Tenant? (New York City)

Tenants whose occupancy began in buildings with two or more apartments on or before June 30, 1971, are rent controlled tenants. Tenants whose occupancy began in buildings with six or more apartments after June 30, 1971, are rent stabilized tenants.

Tenants whose occupancy began after June 30, 1971, in buildings with less than six apartments, are not rent regulated.

If a tenant moves into a building after it has converted to a co-op or condo, the tenant is not subject to rent regulation, regardless of the number of apartments in the building. There are exceptions to all of the above, such as buildings which are regulated pursuant to various statutory schemes including, federal regulations, tax abatement plans and the New York City Housing Authority.
(Courtesy of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


What is "High Rent, High Income Deregulation"? (New York City)

If a rent regulated tenant's rent is $2,000 or more per month, and the tenant's annual income is $175,000 per year in each of the two preceding calendar years, the landlord may deregulate the apartment. Note: There is a complicated a procedure for tenants to preserve the rent regulated status of their apartment. It is imperative for tenants who receive an income certification form to meet with an attorney even if their income is nowhere near the statutory requirements for deregulation. If the tenants do not properly complete and return the form, they may lose their rent regulated rights. This form may be served yearly. Should deregulation succeed, the landlord must offer the apartment to the tenant in occupancy at "a rent not in excess of the market rent" which means a "rent obtainable in an arm's length transaction." If a rent regulated apartment is vacant and the rent is legally $2,000 at the time of the vacancy, even if due to major capital improvements performed by the landlord, the apartment is deemed deregulated.
(Courtesy of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


What is the law concerning succession rights to rent-regulated apartments? (New York City)

A family member defined as the tenant's husband, wife, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, mother-in-law or father-in-law, or any other person who resides with the tenant who can prove EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL COMMITMENT AND INTERDEPENDENCE between such person. If the family member co-resides with the tenant for the minimum statutory time (see below), such individual shall succeed to the rights of the tenant where the tenant has permanently vacated the premises. The apartment may be transferred from family member to family member as long as the minimum co-primary residence occupancy requirements are satisfied. Upon the first such transfer, the landlord is not entitled to any additional rents. Upon succeeding transfers, the landlord will be entitled to collect the allowance then in effect for vacancy leases. STATUTORY TIME: CO-OCCUPANCY REQUIREMENTS

a. Two years;
b. One year if family member is a senior citizen (62) or disabled;
c. From the inception of the tenancy; or
d. From the commencement of the relationship (in no event may evidence of a sexual relationship be required or considered).
(Courtesy of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


What is the law concerning an eviction based upon "owner-occupancy"? (New York City)

a. In rent controlled apartments, the landlord must apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal for a certificate of eviction for occupancy by owner or immediate family, which includes all relations listed above. If a member of the household has been in the apartment for over 20 years, is 62 years of age or older, or is disabled, however, the tenant is exempt from owner occupancy. b. In rent stabilized apartments, landlords must give the tenant notice of their intentions for the tenant or the tenant's immediate family (see the definition of family member above). This notice must be served between 90-150 prior to the expiration of the lease. c. If a member of the household is over 62 years of age or disabled, however, the landlord must offer equivalent housing accommodations to the tenant at the same or lower rent.
(Courtesy of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


What is a non-primary residence proceeding? (New York City)

a. If a landlord claims that a tenant does not occupy the apartment as a primary residence, the landlord may commence a "nonprimary residence" proceeding.
b. In a rent controlled apartment, landlords must serve a 30 day notice of their intent to commence a proceeding based on the tenant's residence.
c. In a rent stabilized apartment, the landlord must give a notice of intention not to renew the lease because the apartment is not the tenant's primary residence. The landlord must serve the notice 90-150 days prior to the lease's expiration. In addition, the landlord must serve a 30 day notice of termination. Both notices may be combined.
(Courtesy of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


What is a summary proceeding? (New York City)

In general, there are two types of summary proceedings: nonpayments and holdovers.
NONPAYMENT
In nonpayment proceedings, tenants have the right to continue to withhold rent if, in fact, they have not received required services. At trial, after a judgment is issued, a tenant has the right to satisfy the judgment within five days. Note: Unfortunately, many tenants receive a judgment and are not aware of the fact that they have this five day period to satisfy the judgment so as to prevent their eviction. They must be informed of the foregoing. HOLDOVER
In most holdovers in which the landlord claims a violation of tenancy, the tenant has a ten day cure period even after judgment is entered. Accordingly, it is imperative that tenants be aware that, upon the cure of the alleged breach of tenancy, they will be allowed to remain in possession. This cure period does not apply to owner-occupancy, nonprimary residence, nuisance and termination of nonregulated tenancies. HP ACTION
Tenants have the right to commence a tenant-initiated action in Housing Court to obtain required repairs at the subject premises.
(Courtesy of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York)


When can I sue for a rent overcharge? (New York City)

All rent overcharge claims must be filed within four years of the first overcharge alleged. No overcharge may be based upon an overcharge having occurred more than four years before the complaint is filed. There is an absolute bar for recovery of rent overcharge upon the expiration of four years. The award of treble damages is limited to two years.
(Courtesy of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York)




 
 

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