Ask an Expert: Do I really have to renew my lease 4 months early?
Ask an Expert

Ask an Expert: Do I really have to renew my lease 4 months early?

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
November 1, 2011 - 12:00PM

Q.  I recently received my lease renewal offer on a rent regulated apartment, with a letter that says I have to respond within 60 days or my landlord will assume I will be vacating at the end of my lease.  

I still have four and a half months until my current lease ends. I find it difficult to make such a decision when I cannot see what is on the market and available for lease in 4 months.    Is this legal/enforceable?  

A. In a nutshell, yes, say our experts.

"Not only is the requirement that a rent stabilized tenant answer the landlord’s offer to renew within 60 days legal and enforceable, it is mandated by the rent stabilization laws," says real estate attorney Steven Wagner of Wagner Berkow.

The New York Rent Stabilization Code  provides a window period of not less than 90 days and not more than 150 days for a landlord to offer a lease renewal (or, alternatively, refuse to renew the lease because you are not using the premises as your primary residence, the landlord wants to use the apartment him or herself, or the apartment is subject to luxury rent decontrol, notes Wagner).

Under the code, explains real estate lawyer Eric Goidel, you then have 60 days to accept the offer. 

"The whole point of the time frame is to give tenants a reasonable period time to make a decision, as well as afford landlords an opportunity to look for a new tenant should the existing tenant decide to move out," says Goidel

Trouble at home? Get your NYC apartment-dweller questions answered by an expert! Send us your questions. 


Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.