A residential lease for a New York property outlines the obligations the landlord has to their tenants and what rights the occupants of a unit have, as well as their responsibilities for maintenance and payment. Provided that both parties abide by the lease as negotiated at the time that the tenant moves in, the rental arrangement can be mutually beneficial.
Unfortunately, a small percentage of rental agreements end in major disputes between a landlord and their tenant. In some cases, the issue may even go to civil court, which can prove frustrating and possibly expensive for both parties. When may it be necessary to involve the courts in a dispute related to a residential lease in New York?
When there is a disagreement about occupancy
Perhaps the landlord has failed to properly maintain the unit for months, and the tenant held their rent in an escrow account while waiting for repairs. Now the landlord wants to evict them, but the tenant simply wants the unit repaired and to stay. They may need to go to court to resolve the matter. On the other hand, perhaps the issues with the unit have made it unlivable, and the tenant would like to terminate the lease due to the landlord’s lack of adequate management. When there’s a disagreement about the continuation of tenancy, whether the tenant wants to vacate the premises before the lease is up without penalties or the landlord wants to evict the tenant, the situation will usually require court intervention.
When there are damages to the unit or other costs
Often, disputes about rental arrangements relate to the condition of the property at the time that someone vacates or the security deposit that they paid. When there is a disagreement about whether or not the damage to the unit justifies retaining the security deposit or when the damages are significant enough to exceed the security deposit, it may be necessary for the issue to go before the court. Similarly, if the tenant attempts to leave the unit without paying for damages or for fees that they owed the landlord, it may be necessary to involve the courts to recover those costs. Disagreements about money at the end of a lease are often very difficult to resolve without court intervention.
Recognizing when court involvement is and is not necessary to resolve a lease-related dispute can help people choose the most effective response to an issue with their landlord or tenant.