In recent years, more people are seeking rental units through the Internet. However, individuals often find themselves falling victim to an online scam. Some of the Internet sites commonly associated with rental scams are Craigslist, Trulia, and Zillow. While these websites do their best to eliminate scammers from using their sites, it is important to look for possible signs of a rental scam as well as perform due diligence in the event that a scammer has slipped through the cracks.
A lease agreement is a contract that creates rights and obligations for a landlord and a tenant related to rental property. Some leases are term leases, and others are month to month. When a tenant wants to terminate (break) a lease early, it’s important that they consult with a landlord-tenant attorney who can assist in protecting their rights under the law.
Eviction is the legal process by which a landlord can expel a resident or tenant from a property. Some of the most common reasons a landlord will evict a tenant are the failure to pay rent on time, harboring other people or pets at the residence that are not authorized by the lease agreement, or the tenant’s participation in illegal or criminal activity within the rental premises. Regardless of the reason for eviction, a landlord must follow a formal eviction process that varies based on the county in which the property is located.
Landlords and tenants have rights in New York. In Suffolk County, many jurisdictions require that a landlord obtain a rental permit prior to renting an apartment or home. In cases where a landlord has failed to obtain a rental permit when required, the facts of a case and the jurisdiction determine the whether the landlord may prosecute a claim or recover monetary damages.
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Every tenant has the right to live in a safe, sanitary and habitable dwelling. It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide suitable conditions for habitation. The warranty of habitability is a law that makes the landlord or owner responsible for keeping your apartment and the building safe and livable at all times. If a landlord does not take care of the property, or make repairs when necessary, these failures may constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability.
Under federal law, landlords are required to provide “reasonable accommodations” based on an individual’s disability. Disabilities can be mental, emotional, or physical in nature. Landlords must comply with the Fair Housing Act, and regardless of a pet policy, a landlord may be required to permit a tenant to keep a service animal to accommodate an individual’s disability.
Service animals may assist with mental, emotional, or physical needs. Additionally, a service animal could include any type of animal that qualifies. Traditionally people consider service animals to be dogs, but they can also include cats, birds, rabbits, and any other animal that may assist with the person’s disability. These animals are not considered pets, but working animals.