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Legal Information: New York

New York Housing Laws

Laws current as of July 7, 2023

What protections do these housing laws offer?

You (the tenant) could end your lease early without penalty, and without owing rent for the rest of the lease period, if you or a member of your household:

    In addition, it is illegal for a landlord or homeowner to discriminate against you by refusing to sell, rent, or lease you a home due to the fact that you are the victim of domestic violence.2

    1 NY Real Prop § 227-c(1)
    2 NY Exec § 296(5)(a)


    Who is considered a victim of domestic violence under these housing laws?

    The laws described in this section offer housing-related protection for victims of domestic violence. You are considered a “victim of domestic violence” if:

    1. you are age 16 or older;
    2. a family or household member commits any crime against you or your child, including lesser offenses such as harassment and disorderly conduct, regardless of whether or not that person is arrested for it; and
    3. the person’s actions have:
      • caused you physical or emotional injury; or
      • created a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to you or your child.1

    The following people are considered “family or household members”:

    • someone related to you by blood (consanguinity) or marriage (affinity);
    • your spouse or ex-spouse;
    • someone you have a child in common with; 
    • someone not related to you with whom you live or lived regularly (“continually or at regular intervals”) in the same household; and
    • someone you are or were in an “intimate relationship” with, regardless of whether you ever lived together or had a sexual relationship.2 To learn more about what types of relationships a judge might consider to be “intimate,” go to What is the legal definition of an “intimate relationship?”

    ​1 NY Real Prop § 227-c(1); NY Soc Serv § 459-a(1)
    2 NY Soc Serv § 459-a(2)

    Who is considered a qualified third party?

    A “qualified third party” is the phrase used in the law to describe the person to whom you or a member of your household reported the domestic violence. The qualified third party can provide a written statement to your landlord as proof that you or a member of your household are a victim of domestic violence.1 A qualified third party must be one of the following:

    • any law enforcement officer;
    • an employee of a state court;
    • an attorney;
    • a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, registered nurse, therapist or clinical professional counselor licensed to practice in any state;
    • a person who works for a government or non-profit organization that advises or provides services to people regarding domestic violence; or
    • any member of the clergy of a church or religious society or denomination.2

    1 NY Real Prop § 227-c(2)(c)(iv)
    2 NY Real Prop § 227-c(2)(A)