HOME / / Real-Estate / Understanding Your Rights: What Landlords Can and Can't Do

Understanding Your Rights: What Landlords Can and Can't Do

Understanding Your Rights: What Landlords Can and Can't Do

July 10, 2024 | By Elie Mansdorf


It’s important to understand your rights as a renter in New York. Making yourself aware of landlord-tenant laws can help you avoid awkward (and potentially disastrous) situations in the future. Knowing your rights can also help you protect yourself when a landlord oversteps their bounds.


When you deal with an established coliving company, most of your interactions with the property manager occur through interactive online portals. This automated process protects common tenant rights by preventing corrupt practices like discrimination and harassment.

Landlord Rights: What They Are and How Far They Go

When determining what a landlord can and cannot do, it’s important to recognize that the property owner has certain legal rights. Recognizing these rights will help you recognize when your landlord is crossing legal boundaries and violating your rights.

Evicting Tenants

One of the differences between traditional and coliving apartments is that traditional apartments often require long-term leases. If you violate the lease by not paying your rent or by causing property damage, the landlord has the right to evict you.


That said, a landlord can’t evict a tenant without just cause, and the eviction notice must specify the reason for the eviction.

Qualifying Potential Renters

What landlords can and cannot do varies based on how the laws apply to specific issues. For example, a property owner can’t turn down prospective renters based on protected classifications, such as race, gender, and other characteristics. However, they can refuse to rent to people with poor credit, insufficient income, or criminal convictions.

Protecting Their Property

The legal restrictions against landlords don’t keep them from protecting their property. If you engage in rowdy or destructive behavior, your landlord has the right to throw you out. They can also evict you if there are multiple noise complaints against you.


In addition to eviction, a former landlord can sue you for damages and warn other property owners that you were a bad tenant.

What a Landlord Can and Cannot Do

While New York provides certain protections for property owners, there are also laws in place to protect renters. These laws specify that a landlord can’t harass, discriminate, or take advantage of the tenants occupying their properties.


Here’s what to know about the key regulations governing landlords’ policies and practices.


undertanding your rights tenant.jpg

The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on certain personal characteristics. New York laws extend these protections to all residents to offer the widest range of protection against discrimination. The protected classes in New York are race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, and familial status.

Entering a Rental

Your landlord can enter your rental, but they must provide proper notice. In New York, a property owner must give 24 hours' notice of their intent to enter. As long as the property owner gives notice, the tenant must permit the landlord’s entry.


The landlord can give written or verbal notice, depending on the terms of the lease. For this reason, you may want to add this issue to the common questions to ask a property owner before signing a lease.

Forcing a Tenant to Vacate

If a property owner doesn’t have cause to evict you, they may try to force you to leave. This is a common issue in addressing what a landlord can and cannot do.


A landlord might try to force you to leave by turning off your utilities, creating disturbances, or employing other illegal tactics. These actions can subject them to lawsuits and other legal consequences.

Abruptly Raising Your Rent

A landlord has the right to raise rent within reason as long as they abide by established rent control laws, which regulate the frequency and percentage of rent increases. 


Moreover, you may have to pay more rent if you adopt a pet or the property owner renovates your unit. Otherwise, the rate listed on your lease should remain consistent until the lease expires.

Renting With Service Animals

If you’re disabled, you might have a service animal. Even when there’s a rule prohibiting pets on the property, a landlord cannot refuse to rent to you because you keep a service animal. You might have to provide documentation to the property owner, but you can still rent with your animal, as they’re considered essential for managing your disability.

Find Your New Coliving Home

Roomrs connects renters with coliving apartments in neighborhoods throughout New York. Our service makes it easy and convenient to find affordable housing in great locations.

Once you find your ideal living space, our fair and consistent vetting process will help you finalize your room rental. View our apartment listings today to get started!

Elie Mansdorf

Elie Mansdorf, Head of Real Estate

Elie Mansdorf is a distinguished professional with a unique blend of real estate, corporate development and executive experience. Elie holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law, and a Masters in Accounting and Bachelor of Arts in Economics, both from Yeshiva University. Elie is renowned for a transformative approach to driving partnerships and growth across a spectrum of industries. He is recognized for a distinguished history of orchestrating high-value transactions, bringing extensive expertise in sourcing, leading, and finalizing deals across diverse sectors. His professional background includes senior executive roles at numerous national and global companies such as Thrasio, Blink Fitness, and Eden Health, and Diggifi. Elie is currently the Head of Real Estate for Roomrs, a premier provider of furnished housing and co-living in NYC, where he is focused on growing the Roomrs portfolio

Similar articles you might like