How should a tenant handle eviction or mistreatment?

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2018 | Landlord/Tenant Matters

Tenants have many rights when they move into a property. However, if you’ve ever faced an angry landlord, those rights might not be the first thing on your mind. You’re probably worried about what you can do to appease your landlord or trying to decide how to stay out of trouble.

Landlords and tenants both have rights regarding the rental property. If you are a tenant who’s been served with an eviction notice, it’s usually for a good reason. Here’s a little bit of information about what you can do to stay in the apartment or home and how to know if your rights are violated.

1. Landlords can’t cut off utilities

Landlords in New York are unable to cut off your utilities if you complain or miss a payment. New York laws require landlords to provide safe accommodations. The only exception is if a landlord has received a court order allowing them to turn off the utilities.

2. Eviction isn’t a simple process

An eviction notice with no cause isn’t legal, and it’s not a quick process even if there is a reason for eviction. Your landlord would need to take you to court and get a Warrant of Eviction to try to force you out. If that hasn’t happened, then the landlord violated your rights.

3. Tenants can withhold rent for dangerous properties

If the property you live in is damaged or dangerous, you may be able to withhold rent. If repairs are needed to bring the building up to code or to keep you safe, that’s a valid reason to withhold rent. You should only withhold rent in serious cases.

Landlords and tenants usually get along, but when they don’t, both sides can cause trouble for one another. Both parties need to know their rights and be prepared for what lies ahead.