Legal Services of the Hudson Valley: New Rights for Tenants

Information Provided by Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

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.

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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.