Can a Landlord Enter a Tenant’s Home?

Once a lease is entered into, a landlord and a tenant have various legal rights intertwined with one another.  In order to keep civility during the life of a lease, it is important to recognize the rights of each party. One of the more common controversies seen in landlord/tenant court is whether the landlord can enter into the tenant’s apartment.
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Both Landlords and Tenants Have Rights in New York

Illegal Apartments

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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Are You Legally Entitled to Smoke in Your Apartment?

Recently, Suffolk County lawmakers passed a bill that will ban smoking in apartment complexes.  The prohibition applies to apartment complexes with ten or more units- including senior facilities and condominiums.  Smoking will be prohibited in all common areas of the building as well as outside common areas including courtyards and playgrounds.  Violators are subject to a $250 fine, and a jail sentence could be imposed for those with multiple violations.

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Tenant’s Rights Under the Warranty of Habitability

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.

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Are Landlords Required to Allow Service Animals?

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.

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