Is Your Landlord Following the Law?

Trust is hard to come by these days. For those of us that are currently renting or who want to start renting, we want to be able to confidently believe that the landlord is always right. We automatically assume that the landlord should have a better understanding of leasing and renting laws than we do. So we sign all hope over to them and in return we expect a decent and respectful landlord tenant relationship. Some of us unfortunately find when it comes to landlord and tenant issues, the landlord may be doing some things illegally-deliberately or even unintentionally. How can you make sure that your landlord is following the law?

In New York State, renting is incredibly common, especially in the boroughs and City of New York. Where renting is occurring, so is discrimination and unfair housing practices. Listed below are a few of the most common ways in which landlords illegally take advantage of the landlord-tenant relationship.


Just like Employment discrimination works, Housing Discrimination laws are based on the same rules. Racial, gender, and sexual discrimination is completely illegal. If your landlord asks you any questions about your orientation, immigration status, mental health or rehabilitation status, he may be pushing the privacy limit. Landlords are only allowed to collect information in regards to the tenant’s financial condition to ensure that the rent will be paid. Believe it or not, even asking about family or children may be crossing the line—The lines get blurry and that is when a lawyer would probably be best to contact if a problem arises.

Illegal Evictions

In New York, especially Long Island, illegal evictions are all too common. The major rule when it comes to eviction in NY is that you must evict within ninety days. However, there are certain exceptions to that rule in which the landlord gets the upper hand. For example, if you have illegal substances or paraphernalia in your apartment, your landlord may have the right to get you out of there sooner. But when it has to do with non-payment situations, state and federal law pursue a long drawn out process which could take months before a tenant can be evicted.


If you are evicted and have left the apartment while the lease is still in effect, you are allowed to get your property. The landlord cannot refuse you or change the locks. There are stern laws which protect your right to collect your belongings when you move out.

If you feel you are facing or have faced a situation involving housing discrimination, illegal eviction, or even theft by your landlord, call the Law Offices of David Witkon today.