Tenant Law in New York
Relationships between landlords and tenants in Albany, New York can get contentious. It's difficult to be a tenant or a landlord. If one or both parties are not aware of their legal rights and responsibilities, conflicts can arise.
Landlords and tenants have to navigate a web of legal rights and obligations. It's essential that the parties to a landlord/tenant relationship know what obligations they have to one another.
Landlord's Rights in Albany, NY
First and foremost, landlords have a right to timely payment of rent from their tenants, at the agreed-upon rate. This, of course, imposes on tenants a duty to pay their rent in full, in a timely manner.
They also have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.
Tenant's Rights in Albany, NY
The most basic right of a tenant is the right to a living space that's fit for human habitation. This is, after all, what they're paying the landlord to provide. Landlords in Albany, New York are under a legal duty to make sure that their apartments are habitable. There are many factors that are considered in determining if an unit is habitable or not, but, generally, an unit will not be deemed habitable if it lacks any of the following: running water, electricity, heat, and protection from the elements (such as proper insulation, and windows that close).
Tenants also have a right to ensure that the common areas of their apartment building are reasonably safe. Landlords are required to make sure that the common areas of their buildings meet Albany, New York's building codes, and that there are no conditions that create unnecessary safety hazards. They are required to make, at their own expense, the necessary repairs.
Under the laws of New York, and the United States, discrimination in housing on the basis of race, religion, or gender is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, landlords must not discriminate against renters on the basis of any physical disability. They also have to allow the renter to make reasonable modifications to their apartment, to make it more accessible. Generally, landlords are only required to allow relatively minor and reversible modifications, and tenants cannot compel them to remodel the building, for example. Also, once the tenant leaves, the landlord can bill the tenant for the costs of restoring the apartment to its original condition.
Finally, the laws of most states protect tenants from unfair eviction. In general, as long as a tenant is paying rent on time, and is not damaging the unit, they cannot be evicted before the term of the lease expires, unless there is a very good reason to do so (such as excessive noise caused by the tenant, or illegal activities in the apartment).
Can a Albany, New York Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?
Landlords and tenants almost always prefer to avoid conflict. In a perfect world, tenants would pay rent on time, and landlords would always provide the services that they're being paid for. As we know, the world isn't perfect. When circumstances demonstrate the world's imperfection, an Albany, New York real estate attorney can help, whether you're a landlord or a tenant.