(New York, NY) — When you moved into your apartment a year ago, and signed a one-year lease, that date when your lease expired was something future you would have to worry about. Fast forward to 12 months later, and your lease reaches its expiration date.
You are more than content to stay; however, you don’t want to lock in for another year. You want to take it month to month until you figure out exactly what you want to do. But what are your rights as a month-to-month tenant in New York City?
According to Real Property Law § 232-C, “In the case of such a holding over by the tenant, the landlord may proceed, in any manner permitted by law, to remove the tenant, or, if the landlord shall accept rent for any period subsequent to the expiration of such term, then, unless an agreement either express or implied is made providing otherwise, the tenancy created by the acceptance of such rent shall be a tenancy from month to month.”
If one were to wade through the dense legalese of 232-C, it says that if the landlord accepts your rent money, then you can continue to live there. In New York City, 30 days’ notice is required before the landlord is allowed to terminate your tenancy. From a landlord’s perspective, they do not need to specify why they want possession of the apartment, simply that they seek the apartment back, and that a refusal to vacate after 30 days will lead to eviction proceedings.
But what if a landlord raises the rent? A mutually agreed upon raise in the rent is permissible; however, if the tenant does not consent to said rent raises, the landlord can terminate the tenancy by giving 30 days notice. There is no limitation on the amount of rent increases if you are not a rent stabilized tenant, so that is one of many factors a tenant must discern when living on a month to month basis.
To conclude, renting on a month to month basis is precarious for any number of reasons, not the least of which being under constant pressure of potential uncapped rent hikes, as well as the potential to have only 30 days to find a new place if your landlord decides he wants the apartment back. However, for those of you who are still figuring out where you want to go next, you do retain some rights as a month-to-month renter.