Landlord-Tenant Law Information

The Law Office of M Daniel Bach has years of experience working as a real estate lawyer in the greater NYC area. This office handles all sorts of real estate law matters, which includes dealing with tenant and landlord disputes. So, if you are a tenant having a dispute with your landlord and need legal counsel, our office is there for you. We also help landlords having difficulty with tenants, too. These sorts of disputes do not always need legal action, but if you think they do we are happy to consult on the matter.

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Landlord-tenant law includes rights and obligations that each landlord and each tenant have in regard to a rental property. Both of the parties need to know the basics of rental property, how collecting or paying security deposits happen, and the basics of state and federal laws regarding fair housing. So please, give us a call today to schedule a no-obligation consultation to go over some common landlord-tenant law and get a law office that will work for your side.

About Lease Agreements

The landlord-tenant relationship is outlined in the lease agreement, which protects the rights of both the tenant and the landlord. Lease agreements generally cover these areas:

  • Names of the landlord and tenants.
  • Address and description of the rental unit.
  • Term/length of the lease agreement.
  • When rent needs to be paid each month.
  • Security deposit amount.
  • Determination of pets.

And here are some aspects that cannot be included in a lease agreement:

  • Waiver of right to sue landlord, which tells the tenant that they cannot bring a lawsuit against their landlord for any reason.
  • Discriminatory exclusion of tenants, which excludes a tenant based on gender, race, religion, etc.
  • Waiver of right to receive any refund of the security deposit after reasonable repairs and cleaning costs are deducted.

About Security Deposits

Most landlords require their tenants to pay a security deposit before moving in. Under most state laws, a security deposit is limited. This deposit is different than paying last month's rent and must be repaid in full minus any deductions for reasonable repairs or costs associated with cleaning. If there is a requirement to pay a deposit, then you should consider signing a statement with your landlord outlining the exact condition of the unit to eliminate disputes at the end of the lease term.

There are often also laws in place that dictate how soon a landlord must return a tenant's deposit after moving out. On top of cleaning and reasonable repairs, the landlord can deduct any unpaid rent from the deposit. However, the landlord cannot deduct for what may be considered normal wear and tear. Many states require landlords to provide a detailed list of damages and repairs, as well as a detailed list of the cost of the repairs or cleaning. Security deposits can often become a point of contention between a landlord and their tenant, so if you are having a dispute then our law office can help.

About Tenant Rights

The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from various civil rights violations. These violations can include housing discrimination based on race, color, gender, age, religion, disability, and national origin. And many states have laws in place to protect against discrimination against LGBTQ identity and marital status. And if you have an animal helper, like a seeing-eye dog, then the policy of "no pets allowed" does not apply. Here are some other common tenant rights:

  • The right to peace and quiet and living undisturbed.
  • Livable and safe conditions.
  • Right to a home free of lead poisoning and mold.
  • A certain level of privacy in the rental property, such as the landlord not being able to enter your home unannounced.

About Landlord Rights

Landlords do have certain rights, too. This is not a one-way street. These rights are mainly related to the protection of their income investment. For example, a landlord may require a monthly payment of rent and the payment of other items specified in the lease agreement, like the utilities. Landlords also have the right to evict tenants prior to the expiration of the term of the lease. However, it must be for an actual cause, like the tenant not paying. A landlord also should give an eviction notice with a reasonable time.