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How Are Landlords Required to Handle Lease Changes?

When you and your landlord sign a lease, there are certain expectations on both sides. One thing that a tenant might expect is that they would be notified about any upcoming lease changes promptly, but some landlords do not follow the rules and try changing the terms of the deal illegally. If your landlord is trying to spring an unfair lease change on you, you do not have to take that lying down. You can talk to a New York City lease dispute lawyer and fight back.

When Does a Landlord Need to Notify Tenants About Lease Changes?

Landlords are not supposed to make lease changes while a lease agreement is in effect. This means that if they want to change something, like rent amount, when rent is due, or imposing new rules about tenant behavior, they must wait until a lease is ending.

Generally, a notice period of at least 30 days is required when your landlord wants to change any terms of your lease when you renew. This period can be longer if you have lived on the property for more than two years. So if a landlord wants to add fees or change the rent amount, they must let someone know before they renew a lease and let them decide if that’s what they want to do.

An exception to this rule is when lease addendums are agreed to by both landlord and tenant. However, the landlord can not use addendums to make illegal changes to a lease.

What Kinds of Lease Changes Are Not Allowed?

Even if a tenant is pressured into signing an agreement or lease addendum, some lease changes are not allowed under NYC laws. Your landlord cannot change the lease by saying:

  • They have no liability for injuries on the property that are caused by their negligence
  • Tenants have waived their right to the warranty of habitability
  • Restricting a tenant from living with immediate family
  • The tenant’s furniture will be used as a security deposit

It does not matter how much notice a landlord gives before proposed lease changes if those changes are not legal.

What If a Landlord Wants to End a Lease?

If a landlord wants to end a lease, they must give the tenant ample notice. They can usually only make this decision when a fixed-term lease has expired or they have a month-to-month tenant. When a landlord decides that they no longer want the tenant to stay on the premises, how much notice they must give can vary based on how long the tenant has lived on the property. These rules apply whether the tenant is on a fixed-term lease or a month-to-month agreement:

  • The landlord must give 90 days notice in writing if you have lived in your apartment for two or more years
  • 60 days notice is required for tenants who have occupied the property for one to two years
  • 30 days notice is required for tenants who have lived on the premises for less than a year

Contact Our Tenants’ Rights Lawyers

If you believe that your landlord is infringing on your rights by not abiding by the local rules, contact Robert Rosenblatt & Associates. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about how our tenants’ rights lawyers can help you fight back.

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