Renting an apartment or home can be an exciting endeavor. However, it can also feature many pitfalls. A few tips may help those interested in becoming tenants in New York to effectively prevent or address landlord/tenant matters.

First, examining the lease closely, rather than simply signing it, is critical. Reading the lease gives a potential tenant the opportunity to pinpoint any unacceptable provisions. In such situations, aspiring tenants can discuss the lease terms with their potential landlords and even suggest alternatives. If the landlords are unwilling to make changes to the terms, walking away from the lease may be the only option.

Getting everything down in writing is also paramount for protecting one’s rights when renting a property. Landlords often make many verbal promises when trying to get potential tenants to sign leases, but these promises are hard or even impossible to enforce if no written record of them exists. In addition, if landlords change, a new landlord may not necessarily honor what the previous landlord verbally promised and/or did.

Finally, insisting that repairs be made in a timely manner is reasonable. This is particularly critical when problems with an apartment or house can affect the tenant’s quality of life, such as issues involving electricity, heat or water. Various options exist for a tenant whose landlord refuses to make such repairs, such as withholding a part of the rent until the needed repair is made.

Knowing one’s rights is an essential starting point when dealing with landlords. However, sometimes dishonest landlords attempt to trample on these rights. An attorney in New York can help with understanding one’s options when addressing landlord/tenant matters to ensure that one’s rights and home remain protected.

Source: findlaw.com, “Tips for Protecting Your Tenant Rights“, Accessed on Sept. 21, 2017