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Queens Landlord-Tenant Dispute Law Blog

What you need to know before taking action to evict a tenant

Many of the landmark rent laws that took effect this summer in New York were aimed at adding protections for renters. They address things like evictions, notices of rent hikes, security deposits, rent caps and application fees.

The changes, which were fought by the real estate industry and trade groups that represent property managers and landlords, are viewed as a power shift from landlords to tenants -- one that can be seen in other states from coast to coast. Those who opposed the new measures argued that, among other things, they would make it more difficult for landlords to evict nonpaying or otherwise problematic tenants.

Attorney-approved tips for novice New York landlords

Investing in rental property is an effective way of building a solid income or padding an existing nest egg. Everyone needs a place to live, after all. However, without proper preparation, novice landlords may begin to experience costly landlord-tenant disputes. Such disputes can quickly deplete your savings and also make you regret your decision to become a landlord in New York.

In some cases, landlord-tenant disputes may occur despite your best efforts. However, armed with a proactive approach, you can head off many disputes before they even occur. The following tips for new landlords can improve the way you manage your rental properties while also helping you avoid potential disputes.

Must New York landlords allow service animals for the disabled?

In a word, yes. Many people living with a disability experience great benefits from the presence of a service or assistance animal. However, some New York landlords do not permit pets inside their rental units.

Considering the massive amount of damage animals can cause to a house or an apartment, no-pet policies are understandable. Still, property owners who try to disallow service or assistance animals may face landlord-tenant disputes. To remain in compliance with the nation's Fair Housing Act (FHA), it is wise to learn how the law works.

What is the legal way for landlords to enter a rental unit?

It is your property. You own it, so you can go inside of a unit whenever you need to, right? Well, sure, it is your property, but your tenants have rights, and one of those is the right to privacy. As a responsible New York landlord, you need to enter your properties occasionally for repairs or maintenance. How can you accomplish this without starting a costly and time-consuming landlord-tenant dispute?

Even though it feels like the law is always on your tenants' side, you have rights, too. You just need to know how to exercise your legal rights without worsening the situation. There are ways to exercise your right to enter the premises reasonably and legally. Below you will find a short outline of when you can enter a rental unit.

  • When an emergency occurs
  • When you need to make repairs or check for damage
  • When you need to investigate possible rental violations
  • When you need to show the unit to potential renters
  • When you need to show the unit to mortgage or insurance companies
  • When a tenant invites you inside

Reducing your legal and financial risks as a New York landlord

Renting out real estate is one of the most successful ways to improve your income. New York landlord-tenant laws are more complex than property laws in many other states. This means that being a landlord in the state is not without some amount of risk.

For example, say a renter initiates a landlord-tenant dispute claiming that your property is unsafe. They refuse to pay any more rent until you give in to their demands. You know you did nothing wrong, but you must still decide how to move forward. Any option you choose is going to cost you money.

Potential landlord-tenant issues from New York’s rent reform

The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (TPA) was signed into law this past June, affecting more than one million apartments in New York City alone. Supporters say the law provides strong protections for tenants and significantly changes the Empire State's rent laws.

However, critics say there is a lot of confusion over the meaning of some of the new rules. The state Division of Housing and Community Renewal recently told the New York Times that it is working to clarify the regulations.

An advocate can help New York landlords avoid legal trouble

Most landlords in Queens may not have a legal advocate to protect their interests. As attorneys, we understand this. After all, legal assistance can be costly and most property owners do not want to spend money unnecessarily. Unfortunately, saving a buck or two right now might cost you more down the line if landlord-tenant disputes arise.

Our city's history is full of stories of tenants suffering abuse or unfair treatment by real estate owners who rent out their property. While slumlords are not as prevalent in today's society, property owners are still suffering the backlash caused by these stories. Many tenants take advantage of property owners because they believe they will win any landlord-tenant dispute that may occur.

3 most common disputes between landlords and tenants

Many disagreements can happen between New York landlords and their tenants due to conflicting views over a lease agreement. Conflicts are frequent between renters and landlords whether it’s over repairs or the return of a security deposit.

Renting is advantageous for those who can’t afford a mortgage or those who often move, helping them avoid costs for major repairs and maintenance. But, conflicts do happen, and both sides should prepare for the most common sources of disagreement.

New York landlords must never discriminate against renters

Landlords have specific responsibilities to meet when they offer a property for residential habitation. Ensuring that you meet these requirements can minimize the chance that you will face legal action brought by a tenant.

Not only do you need to be familiar with the local laws, you also need to know federal and state ones. There are several points that can lead to serious problems if they aren't followed.

Vigorous Advocacy, Cost-Effective Solutions

To schedule a free consultation with experienced landlord-tenant lawyers, please call our firm at 800-699-1594 or send an email using the form provided. We are committed to working together with you to resolve your legal concerns.

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