Tenant Tips: Apartment Rentals

Renters and Landlords Have an Attorney Review your Lease 

I have seen many apartment rental problems in New York City real estate. One that keeps coming to the forefront and ending up in court is lease issues.

Not fully understanding lease terms can create legal issues  for rent overcharges, non-payments, eviction, and Air BnB violation cases among others.

It is critical that before signing a lease agreement you are fully aware of the terms and conditions set forth therein.

I believe that hiring an attorney to review or draft a lease will offset thousands of dollars of future problems. However, I have given a few basics tip to help you on having a good rental.

Basics that a tenant should do before signing a lease for an apartment rental.

Visit the apartment

Check out the condition

Take a look at all appliances, lighting, plumbing, heat/AC, window guards, windows, floors, walls, electric plugs and switches, signs of vermin or bug infestation, odors emanating from neighbors and noise. 

Also take a look at the common areas and make sure that they are clean and safe. Identify where the trash is kept and how it is maintained.

Furthermore take pictures and make a list of anything that is a problem. Give this list to your landlord and have the repairs made before moving in.

Read all paperwork associated with the rental

Read and fully understand the terms and conditions of the lease. Also it is essential that you also read any and all associated documents including riders, condo or co-op agreements, additional agreements.

If there are conditions you don’t understand discuss them with your lawyer, landlord. managing agent or realtor before signing.

Any lease you sign should include the following basic terms in the Lease Agreement:

  • Identify the apartment location and use
  • Length of lease
  • Rent amount and terms
  • Security deposit amount and terms
  • Warranty of Habitability
  • Care of Apartment: maintenance, repairs and alterations
  • Objectionable conduct
  • Services and facilities
  • Entry into apartment
  • Assignment and Sublet
  • Default provisions
  • Remedies
  • Fees and Expenses
  • Property loss, damage, fire
  • Insurance
  • Renewal options

 Below are some typical problem areas a tenant should look for in a lease:

  • Legal fee provisions
  • Access provisions
  • Late fee provisions
  • Automatic renewal provisions
  • Rental amount (check with DHCR to make sure it is the “legal rent”)


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