Being a tenant is more than just signing a contract. It’s your responsibility to understand your legal rights as a tenant and make sure that your landlord adheres to those rights. It’s quite common for landlords to take advantage of their tenants due to their tenants’ lack of legal knowledge. A New York real estate attorney can help tenants make sense of any legal jargon in contracts and ensure that, as a tenant, you are aware of any implications that a contract entails.
Gary J. Wachtel is the premier real estate lawyer in NYC and can provide you with priceless insight into real estate related legal matters. Below, you will find 4 essential tips for tenants that are sure to help you stay on top of your legal rights.
Don’t Put up with Discrimination
If you apply to rent a unit, you can’t be discriminated against based on your religion, sex, race, nationality, or mental or physical disability, thanks to the federal Fair Housing Act. If you feel like you are experiencing discrimination from a potential landlord, you can take serious legal action against them. State and local laws have been designed to prevent any form of discrimination when it comes to real estate.
Ask for Everything in Writing
It’s easy to get into a dispute or misunderstanding with your landlord, especially, if you don’t have everything in writing. Any conversation, promise, or guarantee made by a landlord should be taken down in writing to protect you. Copies of any correspondence can be truly vital should a legal dispute arise with your landlord. If a landlord agrees to something orally, send a letter to confirm the agreement immediately. This tip is meant to protect you as a tenant. Any professional specializing in landlord-tenant law in NYC will agree that asking for everything in writing is a fantastic idea.
Demand Repairs when Necessary
This tip starts with having a thorough understanding of the lease and what exactly the landlord is responsible for in terms of repairs to the property. If your rental unit is not kept in good condition, it’s typically up to the landlord to handle any repairs or improvements. Know your rights and demand repairs to the property you are renting if necessary. If you need any help understanding your lease, contact Gary J. Wachtel, the premier real estate lawyer in NYC.
Defend your Security Deposit
Another tip for tenants is to defend their security deposit. This means understanding your lease and how the rental agreement details the use and refund of your security deposit. Do a thorough walkthrough of the property prior to signing the lease. That way, you won’t have to forfeit any of the deposit later on down the road when you are moving out.