The 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act ushered in significant changes to New York’s rent regulation system. Among the new restrictions implemented as part of the sweeping state tenant protection law, landlords can no longer raise rent on rent-stabilized apartments by up to 20% when a tenant leaves, which was known as a vacancy bonus. Allowable rent increases associated with rent-stabilized building and apartment improvements have also been capped. Here’s some other things to note…
New Rights for Tenants
- Landlords cannot reject tenants because they had been in a court case with a prior landlord. The courts cannot sell eviction court data. Records of evictions that were the result of a foreclosure are sealed.
- Landlords must give tenants the opportunity for a walk-through before they move in and before they move out, and return the security deposit within fourteen days with an itemized list of any deductions.
- Landlords cannot evict or otherwise penalize tenants who complain about conditions.
- Landlords must give receipts (on request for personal checks) within specific time frames and notice by certified mail when rent is not received.
- Landlords cannot charge late fees until rent is five days late and the late fee cannot be more than $50 or 5% of the monthly rent, whichever is less.
- A landlord must make reasonable efforts to re-rent an apartment before they can charge a former tenant who left before the end of the lease for the rent for the rest of the lease.
- Starting in October 2019, landlords must give 30, 60, or 90 days’ notice of lease termination or a rent increase of 5% or more, depending on how long the tenant has lived there.
- “Self-help” eviction is a crime.
New Rights in Eviction Court
- Rent demands must be in writing and served fourteen days before the landlord can start a court case for non-payment.
- Court papers have to be served at least 10 days before the court date.
- The landlord cannot get any non-rent charges in a non-payment proceeding.
- A non-payment proceeding stops if a tenant pays all the rent before the first court date.
- Tenants who raise defenses have a right to a fourteen-day adjournment before trial.
- A warrant of eviction must be served at least fourteen days before the tenant can be evicted.
- A tenant in a non-payment proceeding can pay all the rent due before the eviction and end the proceeding.
- If a court finds that a tenant breached her lease, the court must give the tenant thirty days to correct the problem.
- Under certain circumstances, the court can give a tenant up to a year to relocate as long as the tenant stays up to date with rent.