How much can your landlord charge you for a security deposit? Can my landlord increase my rent? Do I have to pay for my own background check for an apartment?

There are so many new laws in Western New York and the entire State of New York, especially after the pandemic has begun. It has been, in some cases, a challenge for New York State landlords, who during the pandemic were not getting paid rent for one way or another.

In recent memory, a lot of New York State laws have been changed or tightened to protect the renters. We lived in an apartment where if our rent was raised often. But, come to find out, did you know that there needed to be a written notice for any increase over 5%? And they have to give you a certain amount of time to prepare. Landlords can't simply splash an increase on your last second.

Taking a look at the New York State site from the Attorney General, there are a ton of good reminders if you are a renter that you should know about.

There are things that your landlord can and cannot do.

  • A rent payment can only be considered late if it is received more than five days after it is due.
  • The most your landlord can charge as a late fee is $50 or 5% of your monthly rent, whichever is less.
  • Before signing a lease, the most a landlord can charge is $20 for a credit and background check.
  • The landlord has to give you a copy of the background/credit check, as well as an invoice from the company that performed it. Otherwise, they can’t charge you for it.
  • You can provide your own background and credit check to avoid any fees, as long as the background/credit check was done in the past 30 days.
  • • Your landlord must send you written notice by certified mail every time you are more than five days late with your rent. If your landlord fails to provide you with the notice, you can raise this as a defense in court.

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