Where Can I Find Lawyers for Renters’ Law in New York City?350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6705
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Where Can I Find Lawyers for Renters’ Law in New York City?
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In many major cities in the United States, property owners outnumber renters by a substantial margin. However, that is not the case in New York City where almost 70 percent of residents rent from an individual landlord or a property management company. As the result of a large number of renters, New York City experiences an above-average number of landlord-tenant disputes. Renting a home or an apartment should not involve litigation, but the sad fact is far too many tenants in New York City eventually need to find lawyers for NYC renters.
Fortunately, legally protected tenant rights at the state and city levels help renters fight back against unethical landlords. When you conduct research on lawyers for NYC renters, you want to check off criteria on your search checklist to find the best attorney to represent you. The best lawyers for NYC renters have a deep understanding of the ever-changing laws that protect the right of tenants. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the New York City Council to implement statutes that placed a moratorium on evictions and rent increases.
As a staunch defender of tenant rights in New York City, the experienced team of attorneys at Morgan & Morgan help our clients fight back against overbearing and in some cases criminal landlords. We ensure our clients receive full legal protection as granted by state and city tenant rights laws. Schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about your rights as a tenant in New York City, as well as how one of our highly rated lawyers for NYC renters can help you seek justice against an unethical landlord.
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What Are Some of the Laws in New York City That Protect Tenants?
Before you learn where to find lawyers for renters’ laws in New York City, let’s review a few of the most impactful laws that protect the rights of city tenants.
Lease Renewal Terms
With the passage of stricter rental laws in 2019, New York City took a huge step forward when it comes to protecting the rights of city tenants. Your lease renewal terms depend on the type of housing that you rent. Property owners have no legal obligation to renew a lease for an unregulated property. However, if they want to raise the rent by more than five percent of the current level, they must provide tenants with 30 days of advance notice for tenants that have lived in a rental unit for one year.
For tenants that have lived in the same rental unit for no more than two years, landlords must give 60 days of advance notice if they plan to raise the rent by more than five percent. If a tenant has stayed in the same rental unit for more than two years, the landlord must provide the renter 90 days of advance notice for a new lease that raises the rent by more than five percent.
Lockouts and Eviction Notices
In New York City, any tenant who has legally occupied a rental unit for at least 30 days with or without a lease cannot be evicted until a court issues a warrant of eviction and judgment of possession. If your landlord unlawfully evicted you or locked you out of your apartment, you should contact one of the accomplished lawyers for NYC renters at Morgan & Morgan to determine how to respond to your landlord’s illegal actions. You should also contact the nearest police precinct to report the unlawful behavior of your landlord.
Renters in New York City do not have to put up with threats and other types of intimidation tactics. Too many tenants are not aware of the rights granted to them by state and federal law. As described in detail inside the New York State Tenants’ Rights Guide, property owners cannot use threats of force to remove a tenant and a tenant’s possessions. In addition, landlords are forbidden from cutting off essential services, such as heat and water, in an attempt to intimidate renters.
If you face acts of intimidation from your landlord, not only might you have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit, but also a compelling reason to file criminal charges.
Repairs and Utilities
One of the most frustrating elements of renting an apartment is having to depend on the landlord to make repairs and complete maintenance projects. Most landlords do not act with a sense of urgency when it comes to repairs and maintenance, and some landlords refuse to do any work that enhances the appearance of a rental unit. As written in the New York States Tenants’ Rights Guide, “Tenants have the right to a livable, safe and sanitary apartment, a right that is implied in every written or oral residential lease. Any lease provision that waives this right is contrary to public policy and is therefore void. Landlords of multiple dwellings must keep the apartments and the building’s public areas in ‘good repair’ and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and ventilating systems and appliances landlords install, (such as refrigerators and stoves), in good and safe working order. All repairs must be made within a reasonable time period. Such time period may vary depending upon the severity of the repairs.”
At the federal level, the Fair Housing Act bans discrimination against protected classes such as race, gender, religion, and national origin. New York State has passed a law that prohibits property owners from discriminating against potential tenants. The state anti-discrimination statutes cover more protected classes like age, marital status, and sexual orientation. New York City has enacted a Human Rights Law that extends state and federal protections to add partnership status and citizenship status to the list of protected classes.
If you believe an individual landlord or a property management company has committed one or more acts of discrimination against you, contact one of the civil rights lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to discuss your case.
Before the reform of tenant-landlord laws, property owners asked potential renters for a security deposit that covered rent over several months. The rationale behind the request for large security deposits had to do with landlords that dealt with tenants who did not have a rental history and/or positive credit score. One of the measures passed in the 2019 tenant-landlord reform bill outlawed the practice of property owners asking for several months of rent upfront as a security deposit. The 2019 reform bill also shortened the amount of time property owners have to return security deposits. As a renter, your landlord must return your security deposit within 14 days after you vacate the premises.
How Do I Find Lawyers for NYC Renters?
Finding lawyers for New York City renters requires you to conduct considerable research. The financial stakes are too high for you to represent yourself against a landlord or property management company that has retained the services of a highly influential law firm.
Let’s review what you need to consider before hiring a tenant-landlord attorney.
The lawyers for NYC renters on your shortlist of candidates should have plenty of experience handling disputes between tenants and landlords. When we discuss experience, we refer to much more than just the number of years an attorney has handled disputes between tenants and landlords. You want to work with legal counsel that developed a proven record of success representing renters that have one or more grievances against a landlord or property management company.
Versatile experience also matters because tenant-landlord disputes cover a wide variety of legal topics. For example, you do not want to hire one lawyer to handle a security deposit dispute and a second attorney to fight back against an eviction notice. The ideal legal relationship should be with one experienced litigator who handles every type of dispute between you and your landlord.
Understanding the comprehensive set of laws that protect the rights of tenants represents one of the most important factors you should consider when hiring the right attorney among the lawyers for NYC renters. The attorney you hire to represent you against your landlord must know every statute written into the reform law passed in 2019. It is also important for your legal counsel to understand New York State laws that protect the rights of tenants.
Your attorney is responsible for keeping you informed about any changes and updates regarding your case. When you send an email or text message, as well as leave a message on your lawyer’s voicemail, you should receive a response at least 24 hours later. Preferably, your attorney should get back to do during the same business day. Responsive communication is an especially important factor for fast-moving cases that try to resolve a dispute between a tenant and landlord.
Handles Your Case From Start to Finish
Some attorneys that handle resolving a dispute between a renter and landlord meet with a client during a free case evaluation, only to disappear throughout the rest of the case. You do not want a less experienced lawyer or one of the members of an attorney’s support staff doing all the work on your case. You can expect your landlord to receive legal support from an experienced litigator. You deserve the same level of expertise by hiring one of the tenant-landlord attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.
Persuasive Negotiating Skills
Just because you hire an attorney to resolve a dispute with your landlord does not mean you go right to the trial phase of the litigation process. In fact, you want to hire an attorney who possesses strong negotiating skills. By negotiating a favorable settlement, you avoid going through a costly and time-consuming civil trial.
Positive Client Reviews
Reading the feedback left by former clients on sites such as Yelp and Google can help you determine the professional skillset developed by every one of the lawyers for NYC renters on your shortlist. You want to detect common themes, which in the case of Morgan & Morgan clients reviews, include terms like “integrity” and “transparency." Another influential source for client feedback is found on an attorney’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) page. The BBB also hands out reputation ratings, with the consumer advocacy organization giving Morgan & Morgan its highest rating of A+.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of the lawyers for NYC renters at Morgan & Morgan.