It is a month-to-month rental agreement that permits property leasing for 30 days or a month for an indefinite period in New York. As a result, the lease is automatically renewed every month until either the landlord/lessor or tenant/lessee terminates it with notice of typically 30 days. This type of rental arrangement is sometimes called a “tenancy at will” and remains effective and legally binding for the 30 days till termination.
How Does it Work?
To create a month-to-month rental agreement in New York, a landlord/lessor and tenant/lessee must sign an agreement that covers the following points (at a minimum):
- The type of property to be rented out.
- The amount of rent to be paid.
- How long the lease will last after the current month/rental period.
- Whether the lease can be renewed.
- The amount of notice that the landlord/lessor and tenant/lessee must provide to terminate the lease.
- If a security deposit is being used, how much will it be, and how will it be returned to the lessee/tenant at the end of the lease if necessary.
In some cases, the lease terminates automatically at the end of the month. In other cases, both landlord and tenant may agree to terminate it before expiration. The agreement should be in writing and must be signed by both parties. Once the month-to-month rental agreement is signed, the lessee and lessor enjoy the protection of landlord-tenant laws in New York. So why might a landlord or tenant want to use a New York month-to-month rental agreement?
A landlord/lessor can use this type of rental contract to control the length of time the tenant/lessee will live on his property. Additionally, this type of lease is appropriate for people interested in renting to move as their housing needs change over time or who do not know how long they will want to stay in the exact location.
In addition to defining the basics of a typical month-to-month rental agreement, this article also provides information on how to execute a month-to-month rental agreement in New York State.
Which Disclosures Should be Included?
Suppose a landlord has any information that would be helpful for a tenant to know before signing the agreement. In that case, they can disclose this information in the agreement through disclosures or addendums. While some are optional, others are compulsory. To be safe, each party should make sure they understand these disclosures before signing an agreement.
The required disclosures which should be included in the New York’s month to month rental agreements are as follows:
|Allergen hazards||(NYC Admin. Code § 27-2017.2)||Deals with potent or potentially offensive allergens. The disclosure should state where there are any indoor allergen hazards such as molds, rodents, and insects and the inspection protocols – whether annual inspections will be conducted.|
|Bedbug infestation||(NYC Admin. Code § 27–2018.1)||A disclosure should be made about any bedbug infestation in the unit, including the treatment and cleaning schedules. It should also indicate if the property has had a bedbug infestation in the past.|
|Building smoking policy||(NYC Admin. Code § 17-505)||The landlord should disclose whether smoking will be allowed in the unit and if any particular policies were implemented. This disclosure is compulsory for all residential buildings with three or more rental units. The landlord should also indicate the smoking areas or zones within the premises.|
|Lead-based paint||—||A disclosure should be made on the presence of lead paint in the units and steps taken by the landlord/lessor to ensure that the property is safe for living. This disclosure is required for rental units built before 1978. It should also outline areas with lead-based paint and precautions to be taken by the tenant to ensure they are not exposed to lead-based paint.|
|Security deposit receipt||(GOB § 7-103)||If the tenant is being charged a security deposit, the landlord is obligated to inform the tenant of the identity of the financial institution holding the money. This is by providing the institution’s name and address. To do so, the landlord can issue a security deposit receipt outlining this information.|
|Sprinkler system||(RPP § 231-A)||All month-to-month lease agreements in New York must disclose if the property is covered by sprinklers or has fire sprinklers.|
|Stove knob covers||(NYC Admin. Code § 27-2046.4(a))||This disclosure clarifies whether the landlord should provide stove knob covers for gas-powered stoves on the premises. This disclosure is mandatory for all residential spaces that host children aged six years and below.|
|Window guard disclosure||(NYC Admin. Code § 27-2046.4(a))||If the landlord is obligated to install window guards on the property, the window guard disclosure should be added to the lease agreement in New York. This disclosure should clarify this specification for all tenants with kids aged ten years and younger.|
Different notice requirements apply to different types of rental agreements. A month-to-month lease agreement in New York is no exception. New York tenancy laws govern how notices between the landlord and the tenant are delivered in a month-to-month lease. Firstly, if the notice is being served in person, it must be handed to an 18-years-old or older. Secondly, it can be served by “nail and mail” – this includes pinning the notice on the door and sending it via certified mail with a return receipt.
Other guidelines on how to issue notices in New York are as discussed below:
Required notice period to end the lease
According to N.Y. Real Prop. Law 232-B, if either party intends to end the lease, they should issue a 30-day notice if the rental unit is located outside New York City. However, for rental units located within New York City, under N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 226-C, the notice period differs in that the notice is to be issued 30 days before if the lease has been effective for less than 12 months (a year) and 60 days if the lease has been in effect for more than a year but no longer than two years. If the lease has been effective for more than two years, the notices should be issued 90 days before ending the lease. All notices must be in writing for New York month-to-month leases.
Required notice period to increase the rent
The notice period for a rent increase is dependent on where the rental property is situated. Landlords must issue at least 30 days’ notice to raise the rent for property located outside New York City, N.Y. Real Prop. Law 232-B. However, according to N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 226-C, if the landlord intends to increase rent, they should issue a 30 days notice for leases shorter than one year. However, if the lease has been active for more than a year but less than two years, a 60 days notice should be issued. Leases longer than two years require a 90 days notice to increase rent. Lastly, all notice to increase rent must be in written form.
Required termination notice period
Ordinarily, month-to-month lease agreements require a notice of one month to terminate outside New York city – § 232-b. However, under § 226-c, the termination notice period is 30 days for rental units within New York City if the lessee/tenant has lived in the rental unit for less than a year. In addition, this period extends to 60 days if the tenancy has lasted more than a year but no more than two years. Lastly, a 90 days notice should be given when terminating leases that have lasted more than two years. Also, it is required that all provided notices must be in written form.
Pros and Cons of the Month-to-Month Lease Agreement
A month-to-month lease agreement has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. Some of the pros and cons of executing a month-to-month lease in New York are discussed below:
The most prominent benefit of opting for a month-to-month lease is the agreement’s flexibility. The parties do not have to commit for the long term necessarily. As a result, tenants who do not want to commit to a specific property can use this type of lease. In addition, this provision allows landlords to amend tenancy terms with short notice, which is advantageous to new lessors and landlords who want to retain the right to fine-tune their terms. Month-to-month leases are also beneficial because they are easy to adapt to changes in the parties’ life, such as deployment, a spike in market rental rates, property sales, etc.
Month-to-month lease agreements have several downsides. First, this type of lease is expensive to both the landlord and tenant. This is because tenants may choose to come and go too frequently, thus causing frequent screening and house preparations which can be expensive. Consequently, these costs or expenses are passed on to the lessee through high rental rates. Changing tenants so often also results in fluctuating income for the lessor. Uncertainty is another disadvantage of New York’s month-to-month lease agreements. Both parties have no idea when the other party will decide to end the lease. This can create a lot of anxiety and stress for both parties, which might strain existing landlord-tenant relationships. Lastly, these types of leases are rare since most landlords are not comfortable renting their property with the option of leaving at any moment.
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Frequently Asked Question
The landlord must give the notice to evict a month-to-month tenant in New York. After the notice period, the tenant must move out, and the lease agreement expires. However, if the tenant doesn’t move out, the landlord should file a complaint with the county court. The court then directs the appropriate procedure. Depending on the case, the entire process can take one to five months.
If a landlord and tenant want to terminate the lease agreement, they must provide notice to the other party. This period should not be shorter than 30 days but should be under New York State’s guidelines on notice periods.