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Make sure your rental agreements are legal

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | Real Estate |

Lease agreements with your tenants are subject to many rules and regulations.

Tenants have rights under NY law, and you must ensure your rental contracts and practices meet current legal criteria.

Drafting rental agreements

Create a written contract that you and your tenant sign to avoid future legal disputes regarding rent. Once signed, you cannot change the lease unless you do so in writing with new signatures.

Use everyday language so the details are clear to your tenants. Use a plain font in a print size that people can easily read. Verbally go over the specifics with your renters to ensure they understand what they are signing.

Include essential information, such as:

  • The rent amount
  • The payment schedule
  • The accepted methods of payment
  • The address to send rent money
  • The length of the lease
  • The procedures for missed payments

Collecting security deposits

You can collect a security deposit from your tenants, but it must not exceed an amount equal to one month’s rent. Provide a receipt for your tenant and keep a copy for your records. When renters move out, you have 14 days under NY law to return all or part of the deposit to them.

Understanding rent payment rules

In apartment buildings not subject to rent stabilization, you can charge any rent amount that the tenant agrees to in their lease. Offer accessible ways to pay. You cannot require electronic payment methods. Provide your tenants written, signed rent receipts with the date, amount, apartment number, and rental period. However, you do not have to do this if renters pay via personal check.

Properly navigating your lease agreements and rental collection processes is essential to avoid conflicts with your tenants. Understanding the laws in your state helps you create rules and standards that meet your legal requirements.