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Legal Information: New York

Housing Laws

November 9, 2020

What documents or proof do I need to give to my landlord to get out of my lease if I am a victim?

To end your lease, you must provide your landlord with written notice that states that you or a member of your household has experienced domestic violence and reasonably fears staying in the leased housing because of possible domestic violence in the future.1 Your notice should include the date that you would like your lease to terminate and that date must be at least 30 days from the date that your notice is delivered. If you mail your notice, it is considered “delivered” five days after you mail it.2

Within 25 days of giving your landlord notice, you must provide proof that you or a member of your household is a victim of domestic violence. Proof of domestic violence can include at least one of the following documents:

  • a temporary or final order of protection;
  • a record, complaint, or report from a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency of an act of domestic violence;
  • a record from a health care provider for treatment related to domestic violence; or
  • a written statement from a qualified third party to whom you or a member of your household reported the domestic violence.3

The law includes a sample of the written statement that a qualified third party can submit to your landlord.4

1 NY Real Prop § 227-c(1)
2 NY Real Prop § 227-c(2)(a)
3 NY Real Prop § 227-c(2)(c)
4 NY Real Prop § 227-c(2)(d)