The chart below provides a summary of changes to select provisions of various laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship in New York.

R C Law Old Law New Law

Application and Other Fees

R   RPL §238-a Background, Credit, Application fees permitted

(1)  Application Fee-prohibited

 (2)  Background and credit check fees:

       (a)  Lesser of (i) $20 for both (not each) or (ii) actual cost

       (b)  Must provide proof of costs (e.g. receipts) and results

       (c)  Prohibited if applicant provides one dated within 30 days

Late payment fees or charges R   RPL §238-a Permitted if rent late

1)  Permitted only if payment is after 5 days following due date

(2)  Late fee is lesser of $50 or 5% of monthly rent

Limit on Security Deposit and Advanced Rents (e.g. First and Last Month's Rent) R   GOL §7-108 No limits or restrictions other than to require deposit to be in an interest-bearing account if property contains 6 or more dwelling units


(1) Deposit required to be in an interest-bearing account for all non-rent stabilized dwelling units.

(2) Deposits and Advances must be 1 month's rent. This has been interpreted to mean no more first and last month's rent-can only accept on month's rent at a time.

(3) Entire amount must be refundable and paid to Tenant (except for what is lawfully detained) within 14 days after Tenant vacates.

(4) Tenant must be afforded an opportunity to inspect pre-occupancy

(5) Landlord must provide written notice to Tenant of right to inspect if tenancy is being terminated.

(6) Termination inspecion must be 1-2 weeks before tenancy ends.

(7) Landlord must provide at least 48 hours' notice of inspection

(8) Landlord must provide notice of intent to withhold a protion or all of the deposit along with an itemized list of repairs, cleaning etc. and Tenant has the opportunity to cure before the end of the tenancy.

(9) Deductions from deposit are limited to the following:

     (a)  Unpaid Rent

     (b)  Damage caused by Tenant beyond normal wear and tear

     (c)  Non-payment of utility charges payable to Landlord

     (d)  Stoarage of Tenant's belongings


Actual damages of Tenant plus punitive damages

Duty to provide a written receipt for rent payment R C RPL §235-e Provide receipt upon request.

Receipts required to be provided as follows:

(1) If payment is by check, upon a single request for duration of tenancy.

(2) Payment other than personal check:

     (a) If directly paid, receipt must be issued immediately 

     (b) Indirectly (e.g. mailed), within 15 days

(3) Maintain records of cash receipts for at least 3 years. 

Notice of rent increase or non-renewal of tenancy R   RPL §226-c N/A

If rent increase is 5% or Landlord does not intend to renew the tenancy, Lanlord must provide written notice as follows:

(1) If Tenant's occupancy is < 1 year and lease is < 1 year: 30 days

(2) If Tenant's occupancy or lease term is 1-2 year: 60 days

(3) If Tenant's occupancy or lease term is > 2 year: 90 days

For Court: Whether notice can be issued at initial leasing or renewal

Method of Service: Not clear but may have to serve in the same manner as a Petition under RPAPL §735

Notification to terminate residential month-to-month tenancy R   RPL §232-b By Landlord or Tenant-1 Month

(1) By Tenant-1 Month

(2) Available only to Tenant, not Landlord

Notification to terminate commercial month-to-month tenance   C RPL §232-b By Landlord or Tenant-1 Month By Landlord or Tenant-1 Month
Amounts that can be collected in a Summary Proceeding R   RPAPL §702 Rent, added rent, legal fees

(1) What can be collected: Rent only (which is the monthly charge for the use of the dwelling)

(2) What cannot be collected: Fees, charges or penalties, which appear to include items typically labeled as "added rent".

Attorney fees in eviction R   RPL §234 & RPAP §702 Landlord could recover

Landlord cannot recover

Note: Although RPL §234 prohibits recovery in default situations only, RPAPL §702 permits Landlord to recover rent only.

Notice required before startin eviction based on non-payment of rent R C RPL §235-e & RPAPL §711 3 days

Two (2) written notices required:

(1) Notice of Failure to receive rent if rent is 5 days past due (must be sent by certified mail

(2) 14 days' notice (to replace 3 day notice)

Failure to provide both notices is an affirmative defense in an eviction

Note: There is an issue as to whether both notices can be given simultaneously. City Court of Buffalo currently allows both to be given simultaneously

Deceased Tenant:

(1) Landlord sole remedy is against the estate §711(2))

(2) Warrant of eviction against estate does not apply to other occupants in possession-need to commence separate hold-over proceeding against other occupants

Receipt of payment following start of eviction based on non-payment of rent R C RPAPL §731 If payment in full is accepted before Warrant is issued, then proceeding is terminated

Landlord is required to accept payment in if full rent is tendered before the hearing on eviction and proceedings are then dismissed.

See RPAPL §749-if full rent is tendered or deposited with the Court before execution of Warrant, then the Warrant will be vacated.

Issue: Whether rent to be paid includes rent accruing after the Petition is served. City Court of Buffalo currently takes the position that it does.

Notice of Petition for Non-Payment of Rent Eviction R C RPAPL§732 Returnable before the Clerk within 5 days and if Tenant fails to Answer within 5 days, Landlord is entitled to Warrant

(1) Each time frame is now 10 days

(2) Court can stay warrant for up to 1 year (§735)

Service of Notice of Petition for Eviction Other than for Non-Payment of Rent (e.g. Holdover) R C RPAPL §733 Between 5 days and 12 days before return date Between 10 days and 17 days before return date
Time to file an Answer in Hold-over R C RPAPL §743 If notice is served 8 days before return date, Answer must be served 3 days before return date Due at time Petition is scheduled to be heard-no requirement to file in advance. Tenant Answer can be oral or written.
Adjournment R C RPAPL §745 Less than or equal to 10 days 14 days
Warrant R C RPAPL §749 72 hours

(1) Must be 14 days' notice on a business day

(2) Limited to those specifically named in proceeding

(3) If full rent is tendered or deposited with the Court before execution, then the Warrant will be vacated

(4) Does not cancel landlor/tenant relationship which can have consequences if there is a bankruptcy filing

If Tenant has extreme hardship, can remain in possession.

Examples include:

(1) Serious illness

(2) Child's enrollment in local school

(3) Any other extenuating circumstances affecting the ability to relocate or maintain quality of life

R   RPAPL §753 Applied only to NYC.


(1) Statewide

(2) Court can stay issuance of Warrant for up to 1 year

(3) Does not apply to holdover where tenancy terminates if Landlord can prove Tenant's conduct is objectionable

(4) If holdover proceeding is due to a failure to cure a lease breach, Court must give Tenant 30 days to correct the breach

Unlawful eviction or Landlord self-help R   RPAPL§768 Lanlord could be liable for treble damages for unlawful eviction under RPAPL §853. There was no list of what was an unlawful eviction.

Landlord is prohibited from taking actions as follows:

(1) Use or threaten use of force

(2) Disturb the comfort of Tenant (e.g. shut off heat)

(3) Prevent Tenant from occupying the unit

(4) Failure to take all reasonable and necessary action to retore occupancy after being unlawfully evicted

Penalties for violation:

(1) Class A Misdemeanor

(2) Civil penalty between $1,000 and $10,000

(3) Plus $100 per day Tenant is unlawfully left out, for up to 6 months

Landlord retaliation against Tenant R   RPL §223-b

(1) Retaliation of a good faith complaint to a governmental authority was prohibited

(2) Tenant needs to show no other reasons for Landlord's actions

(3) Presumption of retaliation was any action against Tenant taken within 6 months after Tenant brought an action to enforce Tenant's rights with no presumption if Landlord alleges Tenant violated lease.

(4) Tenant has no right to attorneys' fees and costs for retaliatory action


(1) Applies if complaint is made to a governmental authority or to Landlord or Landlord's agent (e.g. complaints about conditions that go to the warranty of habitaiblity)

(2) Prohibited actions include:

    (a) Large rent increases

    (b)  Landlord suing for back rent or violating lease

(3) Look-back period is 1 year

(4) Successful Tenant entitled to legal fees

(5) Presumption of retaliation

    (a)  Any action by Landlord against Tenatn within 1 year after Tenant takes any action to enforce Tenant's rights (not just a legal proceeding)

    (b) Any Landlord allegation of Tenant violation of the Lease is retaliation

(6) Court can award Tenant legal fees

Landlord duty to mitigate damages R   RPL §227-e N/A Landlord must take reasonable and customary action (not defined)
Blacklisting Tenant (e.g. refusing to rent to a Tenant based on disputes with prior Landlords, including prior evictions) R   RPL §227-f N/A

(1) Action prohibited

(2) Landlord has burden to establish another reason was the basis for denying rental

(3) Enforceable only by the Attorney General-no private cause of action

(4)Civil Penatly of $500 to $1,000





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Last Update: December 6, 2019