Renters have certain rights regarding lease renewals in New York. Apartments in the state are considered either unregulated or regulated (rent controlled), with different rules applying to each type of property. The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal establishes rules for lease renewals and sets penalties for landlords who violate these rules.
Most apartment leases in New York are unregulated, offering landlords more flexibility in not renewing a lease. With unregulated leases, rental prices can increase after the lease expires at the landlord’s discretion without limits. Some areas of New York, such as New York City, allow tenants to rent out a regulated apartment. Regulated apartments offer caps that protect the renter from rising rental prices.
For unregulated apartments, landlords must provide tenants with 60 days' notice of their option to renew a lease or 15 to 30 days' notice before the due date by which the tenant must renew his lease, according to the New York attorney general's office. Month-to-month leases renew every month, and either the tenant or the landlord must provide 30 days' notice before breaking the rental contract.
To renew a lease on a rent-stabilized apartment that offers a yearly or two-year lease, the tenant must provide his landlord with a Division of Housing and Community Renewal Lease Renewal Form no sooner than 150 days and no less than 90 days before the end of his existing lease.
Unregulated rental contracts in New York State contain automatic renewal clauses. If the tenant does not provide the proper amount of notice outlined by law, the lease will automatically renew, and the tenant will not be able to break the terms of the contract without penalty. If a tenant does not intend to renew her unregulated apartment lease, she should send a copy of her notice by certified mail to ensure delivery, according to the New York attorney general's office. For a rent-controlled apartment, however, if a tenant does not renew his apartment in time, he will lose his right to the property.
After providing notice, a New York landlord can choose to not renew a lease for any reason with an unregulated apartment. State law allows a tenant in a rent-controlled apartment to renew her lease indefinitely, unless the landlord or his immediate family needs the apartment for themselves to use as a primary residence, the tenant does not use the unit as his primary residence or the owner intends to demolish or charge the use of the building, according to the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Tenants can choose to not renew their lease for any reason.