Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act 2019 (2020 Update)
New NYS housing laws that were passed in 2019
Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act 2019
Background and credit check fee should NOT exceed $20
Section 238-a of the new laws says that “no landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor” should charge processing or application fees unless it’s for a background check, and that should not exceed $20 dollars. The fee must be waived if an applicant provides their own background or credit check that was conducted within the past 30 days.
If the landlord does collect a fee to conduct a background check, they have to provide a copy of the report to the applicant, along with a receipt or invoice from the company that conducted the background or credit check.
Landlords can’t charge more than one month’s rent for a security deposit
Landlords can’t charge more than one month’s rent for a security deposit and are now required to return that deposit to tenants within 14 days after they vacate the apartment, and if any amount is retained, they should also provide an itemized statement showing why that was necessary. If the landlord fails to provide that itemized statement, “[they] shall forfeit any right to retain any portion of the deposit,” the law reads.
The law also says that any person who violates those provisions “shall be liable for actual damages provided a person found to have willfully violated this subdivision shall be liable for punitive damages of up to 51 twice the amount of the deposit or advance.”
Notice of Lease termination or rent increase
Landlords must give 30, 60, or 90 days’ notice of lease termination or a rent increase of 5% or more, depending on how long the tenant has lived there.
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