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Lease Agreements in New York City

Get an overview of what's included in our New York City Lease Agreement.

Melissa avatar
Written by Melissa
Updated over a week ago

TurboTenant’s New York City lease agreement has been written and reviewed by New York lawyers and landlords. It’s been drafted to keep you compliant and covered as you rent out your property. If you are located in New York State and need a lease agreement, we have that too. Please check out our article on New York State here.


The New York City lease agreement is split up into three sections.

  • Section 1 contains information specific to you, your tenants, your rental property, and the details of your lease. This is all information that you add during the lease creation process in TurboTenant.

  • Section 2 contains clauses in accordance with New York City law. In order to stay compliant with the law, you will not be able to edit any details in Section 2.

  • Section 3 contains general clauses for landlords in the United States. It was drafted with best practices in mind for the landlord, tenant relationship. Like Section 2, you will not be able to edit these details.

While you may not edit all of the specifics directly, remember you can add additional provisions that supersede any existing language in the lease by using the Additional Provisions section. This gives you customization and flexibility should you have unique things you want to ensure are covered in your lease.

Section 1 - Custom to You

Section 1 contains the custom details relevant to you, your tenants, and your rental property— who is on the lease, rent amount, utilities, etc. You’ll add these details during the lease creation process

We’ve set up the lease agreement in a way that is easy for you and your tenants to understand. You’ll see the main details you’ve added to the summary table at the front of the lease agreement. The remaining items—like smoking, utilities, keys, etc.—are outlined in the rest of Section 1 as you can see in this example New York City Lease Agreement.

Here are a couple of other items in Section 1 worth mentioning:

Additional Provisions: this is where you can add any property specific rules, necessary local clauses, or other specifics you want to include. We recommend that you review any additional provisions with a lawyer.

Lost Key: if your tenants do not return all keys to you when they move out then they are required to pay for the full cost of rekeying the property.

Section 2 - Specific to New York City

Section 2 includes language that is specific to New York City. In order to help make sure you stay compliant with local laws, we’ve not allowed you to edit the details here.

There are some clauses in Section 2 that we wanted to call out so you understand how it affects you and your tenants.

Late Fees - Section 2.1

Rent is due in full on the first day of each and every month. If rent is not received on or before the 5th day of the month, you may charge your tenants a late fee equal to $50 or 5% of the unpaid rent amount, whichever is less. All late fees shall be deemed additional rent for the month, and shall be paid and collected as such. Late fees will be assessed from the Due Date until the entire balance of unpaid Rent, accrued late fees, and any other charges are paid in full.

Security Deposit Provisions - Section 2.4

Security deposits requirements may vary quite a bit from state to state. In New York City

  • Security Deposit not to exceed 1 month’s rent and collection of last month’s rent is prohibited.

  • Additional pet deposits can be charged.

  • Landlord must provide receipt to Tenant for any rent and security deposit payments showing exact date of deposit, amount and purpose of payment.

  • Landlords of buildings with 1-5 units need to keep security deposits in a separate bank account.

  • Landlords of buildings with 6+ units, security deposits must be kept in a separate FDIC interest-bearing escrow account in New York, earning interest at the prevailing rate and indicated the name, address and amount of security deposit in the lease.

    Security deposit returns in New York City also have some unique rules:

  • Landlord must return the funds with interest earned within 14 days after Lease termination along with a written statement itemizing any lawful charges.

  • Landlord can offer Tenant interest to be returned at end of lease term, yearly, or credited for rent. Landlord can deduct 1% of the interest as an administrative charge.

  • Landlord must mail or deliver returned security deposit, interest and/or notice to Tenant at Tenant’s last furnished address.

Notification of Building Problems or Repairs Needed - Section 2.7

Tenant shall keep the Premises in good order and condition, and immediately pay for any repairs caused by Tenant’s negligence or misuse, that of their guests, or Additional Occupant(s). Tenant agrees to notify Landlord immediately upon first discovering any repairs or maintenance needed, or signs of serious building problems, including but not limited to: a crack in the foundation, a tilting porch, a crack in the plaster or stucco, moisture in the ceiling, buckling sheetrock or siding, a leaky roof, a spongy floor, any leaking or running water, appliance malfunction, and/or electrical shorting or sparks. Failure to report a problem may create a situation where the Tenant will be liable for damages due to the problem not being addressed sooner. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement, Landlord will pay for repairs of conditions that materially affect the health or safety of an ordinary resident (i.e., dangerous or hazardous conditions). Landlord has ten (10) days to respond to Tenant’s request for repairs and complete any repairs within a reasonable period of time, depending on the severity of the repairs.

Entry/Access to Premises by Landlord - Section 2.8

Landlord shall have the right at all reasonable times during the Term of this Agreement to enter the Premises for the purpose of inspecting and exhibiting the Premises and all buildings and improvements thereon. In non-emergency situations, Landlord will make a good faith effort to notify Tenant at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to entry by one of the following methods: telephone message, email message, or door hanger, and having made such good faith effort shall enter as necessary. In an emergency situation, Landlord is permitted to enter immediately without prior notice. If a repair is requested by Tenant, Landlord shall give Tenant one (1) week prior notice. Tenant understands that Landlord will typically commence showing the Premises to prospective tenants one hundred twenty (120) days or more before the expiration of the term of this Agreement, but may show the Premises to prospective tenants, purchasers, or lenders at any time. Landlord shall further have the right to display “for sale", "for rent", or "vacancy" signs in or about the Premises.

Fair Housing - Section 2.10

Civil rights laws of the United States and New York prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or familial status. There may be additional local ordinances that may include other protected classes. Please research protected classes in your county if there is a concern. All parties to this Agreement shall act according to all applicable fair housing laws.

Security Devices and Exterior Door Locks - Section 2.12

Tenant shall not add or change any: lock, locking device, bolt or latch on the Premises without the express written consent of Landlord. All notices or requests by Tenant for: rekeying, changing, installing, repairing, or replacing security devices must be in writing. Installation of additional security devices or additional rekeying or replacement of security devices desired by Tenant will be paid by Tenant, in advance, and may only be installed by Landlord or Landlord's contractors after receiving a written request from Tenant. Landlord is responsible to comply with all required security precautions per New York City law.

Smoke/Carbon Dioxide Detectors - Section 2.14

Smoke and carbon monoxide (if applicable) detectors (hereinafter referred to collectively as “Detectors”) have been installed at the Premises. Carbon Monoxide detectors are required to be placed within fifteen (15) feet of the primary entrance to each bedroom. Upon commencement of this Agreement, Landlord and Tenant have verified that the Detectors in the Premises are in good working order. Tenant agrees to keep the Detectors operational at all times and take no measures to render them non-operational or to diminish their effectiveness. Tenant agrees to perform the manufacturer’s recommended test on Detectors and to report the failure of any such test, or any other apparent malfunction of the detectors to Landlord immediately upon discovery in writing. Tenant acknowledges that the Detectors may be battery operated and agrees to replace the batteries, at Tenant’s expense, promptly, as needed, for the duration of their stay at the Premises.

Fire/Sprinkler System - Section 2.15

Pursuant to New York law, Chapter 50, Article 7, Section 231-A, Landlord are required to provide notice to Tenant of any operative fire sprinkler system in the Premises and the last date of maintenance and inspection.

Rent Stabilization Laws - Section 2.16.

Landlord is required to provide Tenant with certain information if the Premises are under New York rent stabilization laws. If the premises are under rent stabilization, Landlord must provide Tenant with copy of fully signed Lease as well as information on rent paid by previous Tenant(s), any improvements and past rent increases. Landlord to provide Tenant with information on rights and duties of Landlords and Tenants under Rent Stabilization Law, RSC, TPR and other information on Preferential Rents, Air Conditioner Surcharges and IAI notification requirements. Landlord to attach the New York City Lease Rider to Lease.

Bed Bugs Disclosure - Section 2.17.

Pursuant to the Bedbug Disclosure Act, Landlord shall furnish to Tenant at lease signing, a notice approved by the state division of housing and community and renewal that sets forth the Premise’s bedbug infestation history for the previous year regarding the Premises and building in which Premises are located as well as information about the prevention, detection and removal of bedbug infestations.

Section 3

The clauses in Section 3 are standard to most lease agreements. Along with the rest of the lease agreement, we worked with experienced landlords to make sure you are following best practices in your lease agreement.

Subletting - Section 3.1

Tenant shall not assign this Agreement, or sublet or grant any license to use the Premises or any part thereof without the prior written consent of Landlord. Consent by Landlord to one such assignment, subletting, or license shall not be deemed to be consent to any subsequent assignment, subletting, or license. An assignment, subletting, or license without the prior written consent of Landlord or an assignment or subletting by operation of law shall be absolutely null and void and shall, at Landlord's option, terminate this Agreement. For rent stabilized units, rent cannot be increased and Tenant shall not sublet the Premises more than two (2) years within a four (4) year period.

Altering or Improving the Property - Section 3.2

Your tenant cannot make any alterations or improvements—like repainting—without your written consent. Unless agreed upon, when they move out, the property must be in the same condition that it was in when they moved in.

Military Personnel Clause/Family Violence/Sex Offenses or Stalking - Section 3.8

The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows a Tenant to terminate this Agreement, under certain circumstances, if they enlist, are moved, or are drafted or commissioned in the U.S. Armed Forces. Tenants may have additional rights, under state or local laws, to terminate this Agreement early in certain situations involving family violence, certain sexual offenses, harassment, or stalking. All Parties to this Agreement shall act according to any such federal, state, or local law applicable in the jurisdiction where the Premises is located. Any Tenant who is the victim of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking can terminate this Lease upon thirty (30) days prior written notice to Landlord.

Choice of Law - 3.11

The rental agreement will be governed and construed in accordance to New York's own laws. Also there is a requirement to consent to the use of the county courts in which the property is located.

Attorney/Collection Fees - 3.11

To the extent allowed under applicable law, should it become necessary for Landlord to employ an attorney to enforce any of the conditions or covenants hereof, or a collection company to recover any financial loss, including the collection of Rent or gaining possession of the Premises, Tenant agrees to pay all related legal and/or collection expenses so incurred. Attorney’s fees can be collected from either prevailing party.

Indemnification - 3.20

To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Landlord shall not be liable for any damage or injury of or to the Tenant, Tenant's family, Additional Occupant(s), guests, invitees, agents, or employees, or to any person entering the Premises or the building of which the Premises are a part or to goods or equipment, or in the structure or equipment of the structure of which the Premises are a part.

Missing something you want to make sure is included?

This article only includes an overview of some of the details included in the New York City Lease Agreement. You can read the whole agreement and double-check for specific details by clicking this link to see an example of the agreement.

We wanted our lease agreement to handle the majority of use cases for landlords in New York City. However, we do know that some rental situations are unique. If there are other specifics you want to outline in the lease agreement, you can do so in the Additional Provisions section while creating your lease agreement in TurboTenant. We recommend that you review them with a lawyer to ensure you stay compliant with the law.

Disclaimer: Changing some terms in the lease may conflict with state or local laws. If you make large edits, we recommend speaking with an attorney. Please have a look at your specific state lease agreement for more information. TurboTenant is not responsible for edits that are not compliant with state laws. TurboTenant is unable to provide legal advice.

DISCLAIMER: This lease agreement is not warrantied, either expressly or implied, by TurboTenant, Inc. as to their effectiveness or completeness. TurboTenant, Inc. does not provide legal advice. TURBOTENANT, INC. AND ITS SERVICES, DOCUMENTS, RECORDS, AND PRODUCTS ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY. The user is advised to check all applicable state and federal laws before using this agreement, attachments, disclosures, forms, or parts thereof and to have them reviewed by competent legal counsel prior to use.

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