Maintaining landlord and tenant fairness is a constant work in progress.

New York City’s recent rental law changes contain a few restrictions and clarifications that all parties of a lease need to know. Here are a few changes to help you understand what’s different and what to monitor on your lease or tenant database.

Security Deposit Changes

Security deposits seemingly vary depending on the property and the level of trust–either through personal trust or a credit report. In some areas, it’s first and last month’s deposit.

With recent New York rent law changes, security deposits are limited to one month’s rent.

Landlords are also required to return the security deposit within 14 days of the tenant leaving their rented unit. If there are deductions made, the landlord must provide an itemized statement of those deductions.

Deductions often come from repairs for damages allegedly caused by the tenant or damages that happened after signing the lease, which is why a pre-rental and post-rental inspection is suggested for the landlord and tenant’s best interests.

Unlawful Eviction Penalty Changes

Any eviction must be properly documented and follow state regulations. That said, with New York featuring New York City as one of the busiest cities in the world, a lot of evictions can happen with fewer penalties than dealing with the tenant.

With recent changes, unlawful eviction of a tenant is considered a misdemeanor. An unlawful eviction is now subject to a fine of at least $1,000.

Tenant Blacklisting Is Prohibited

While keeping other landlords and management offices aware of problem tenants seems like a good way to prevent abuse, not all blacklisting is fair–and not always related to actual tenant problems.

Blacklisting is now prohibited.

Lease Violation Fix Requirements

Lease parties now have 30 days to address and correct lease violations. This allows tenants more time to correct issues that may have been caused by accident, or to clarify issues such as visitors.

Property Improvement Rent Increases Limited

If landlords improve their property, they’re entitled to increase the rental price of the property.

Under new changes, there is a limit imposed on rent increases based on upgrades. Other projects similar to upgrades–upkeep, seasonal overhaul, and inspections that may require additional qualified staff–are similarly limited.

If you’re in doubt about certain changes or want help understanding your lease, lending plan, or responsibilities to tenants, contact a rental law and real estate expert.

About Ephraim Vashovsky