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What Tenants in ny Need To Know?
As much as it is important for landlords to protect their property from troublesome tenants, it is equally important that tenants are leased out property that is safe to use. To understand the rights of tenants better, it is important to know the basic types of renting property in New York.
A tenant’s rights depend on whether he/she is living in a rent controlled, rent regulated or unregulated property. While there are laws to protect all tenants, those living in rent regulated or federally subsidized properties enjoy special benefits. Tenants can always check with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal if their landowner’s property is rent regulated or not. One great benefit that tenants of rent controlled (not regulated) properties enjoy is that the landowner cannot charge them a rent beyond the maximum base slab. However, this is applicable only to those properties in New York constructed before February 1947 and for tenants occupying them from before July 1971.
Tenant rights in NY primarily ensure that all rental properties meet the basic safety regulations, with safe electrical wiring and pipelines in places. All leaks are expected to be plugged and safety alarms functioning well before renting out a property. In the absence of a habitable environment, tenants have the right to withhold paying the rent until the landowner rectifies the concern. In the case of multiple dwellings, tenants have the right to form an organization to discuss their concerns and collectively put forth their demands to their landlord. The New York state law ensures that tenants are protected from illegal eviction by the landlords if they rightfully file a complaint against the landowner with a government agency with regard to violation of safety laws, to protect their lease rights and/ or be part of a tenant organization.
It is important for tenants to note that while they have a right to privacy, the landlord is allowed to enter the premises at a reasonable hour and by offering prior notice for reasonable issues such as repair works, to show the property to prospective tenants or purchasers and to exercise rights as mentioned in the lease agreement. If a tenant disagrees on any of these visits in bad faith, the landlord has the right to take the legal route.
Tenants living in properties constructed after April 18, 1929, reserve the right to enjoy supply of hot water throughout the day. Besides, tenants with disabilities are allowed certain reasonable benefits. For instance, a landlord can allow a visually challenged tenant to keep a guide dog even though there is a “no pets” policy followed in the dwelling. Landlords cannot discriminate renting out a property on the basis of sexual orientation, creed, race, immigration status and the like. Discrimination against alcoholics and people with AIDS is also not allowed as per New York tenant protection laws. Landlords insisting on the eviction of tenants with children can be brought to the bar for discrimination.
The tenant-landlord relationship is based on mutual respect. If each respects the other’s rights and good will, they can turn this into a long-term win-win situation for both.
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