Tenants' Rights in Westchester, New York

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Renters and landlords in Westchester County, New York are subject to the rights and responsibilities outlined in the Tenants' Rights Guide published by the state attorney general's office. Westchester County also has its own local regulations on rent control. These laws aim to protect both property owners and tenants.

Duty of Repair

  • According to New York state law, tenants in Westchester County have a right to live in a building that is properly maintained and kept. Landlords are legally obligated to maintain basic services and make any necessary repairs to heating, gas and ventilation systems, as well as appliances such as stoves and refrigerators.

Discrimination

  • According to New York state law, Tenants in Westchester County and throughout the state have a right to seek and rent bias-free housing. Real estate agents and brokers are likewise legally forbidden from discriminating against renters on any basis, including race, age, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, or citizenship and immigration status. The Westchester Human Rights Commission handles complaints of housing discrimination.

Right to Organize

  • According to New York state law, tenants have a right to organize with other tenants. The law stipulates that "no landlord shall interfere with the right of a tenant to form, join or participate in the lawful activities of any group, committee or other organization formed to protect the rights of tenants; nor shall any landlord harass, punish, penalize, diminish, or withhold any right, benefit or privilege or a tenant under his tenancy for exercising such right." Tenants also have a right to use building common rooms to hold meetings and other organizational activities.

Security Deposits

  • According to New York state law, landlords must return security deposits to tenants within a reasonable time after tenants have moved out. In buildings with six or more rental units, landlords must place deposit money in an interest-earning trust or bank account. However, landlords are permitted to deduct one percent annually for administrative expenses.

References

  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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