Once your lease term begins, you become a tenant of that building and are therefore entitled to a set of tenants’ rights and responsibilities.

For more information on tenant rights and responsibilities, visit NYC Housing Preservation & Development.

Tenant Rights

As a New York City tenant, you are entitled to live in a safe and livable environment. Specific rights include the following:

  • Right to livable premises,
  • Right to complain and organize,
  • Right to possession, privacy,
  • Right to receive services,
  • Right to fair, equal treatment,
  • Right to transfer rights, obligations,

Tenant Responsibilities

While you benefit from a set of rights, you must also abide by the responsibilities. Once you sign the lease, you become responsible for any damage you cause to the property through willful acts, damage, or negligence, including refusing to allow someone to enter the premises to complete repairs and improvements.

Additionally, you must respond to their owners on legally required notices, such as those relating to lead-based paint and window guards.

Renter’s Insurance

Most landlords and management companies require that their tenants purchase renter’s insurance as it financially protects their belongings against damages. Depending on what items you keep in the apartment, you can purchase insurance for as little as $6 a month.

Renter’s insurance financially protects tenants from the following:

  • Fires started by any tenant in the building,
  • Water damage from bursting pipes and overflows,
  • Theft inside and outside of the apartment,
  • Electrical damage from power surges,
  • Injuries sustained by a guest or serviceman inside the apartment,

Some policy providers make the process of acquiring insurance easy as they ask about the estimated value of specific items in the apartment and then provide the option to add on extra conditions for certain items like jewelry, fur, and silverware. Take time to carefully estimate the value of your items like electronics, furniture, jewelry, musical instruments, and sports equipment.