Many clients contact us with questions about the new provisions under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Is this new law hurting tenants? And if so, how?
There are many issues involved, not the least of which is that many marginal tenants may have a harder time with applications. Landlords may not take chances on them. Discrimination around emotional support animals or source of income can also be a problem.
Landlords can no longer charge an application fee. You can only charge for your actual cost of credit reports, not to exceed $20. You cannot charge the $20 unless you provide the tenant with a copy of that report and proof that you paid at least $20 for that credit check. No application fees can be charged any longer. You can only charge for your actual cost of getting a credit report, not to exceed $20.
As far as leases go, late fees cannot be more than 5% of the rent or $50 maximum. You cannot have any daily fees. For late fees for manufactured home parks, you cannot charge more than 3%, and that would be after the rent is 10 days late.
The law also defines new time periods for serving your papers with evictions. The time period used to be 5 to 12 days. Now it’s 10 to 17 days. You cannot serve the papers on the tenant any earlier than 10 days before the court date or any later than 17 days before the court date. Previously, you could demand that the tenant answer in writing within three days before the court date. There is now no advance answer required by the tenant before the court date.
If the tenant pays the rent before or at the court date, then the eviction should be withdrawn. The warrants of eviction used to terminate the landlord/tenant relationship. Now, the landlord/tenant relationship continues beyond when that warrants issued. The tenant no longer has to come up with the late fees and maybe not even the attorney’s fees to stop that eviction.
Contact Friedman & Ranzenhofer, Attorneys at Law
There are many more new provisions under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 that you need to be aware of. For more information, watch Robert Friedman’s full seminar on the NY Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act of 2019.