Office of Residence Life

Avoiding and resolving complaints from your landlord and neighbors

Resolving complaints from your landlord

Late rent payments

If your rent is not paid in full by the first day of the rental month, it is considered late and you may incur late charges or even eviction proceedings. Late fees must be reasonable and have a grace period. For more information about the eviction process, see the section on eviction.

If you are experiencing financial problems, confer with a budget. The Rensselaer Union offers an emergency loan service that you can use to avoid missing a payment. Remember, it is important to address any financial problems as soon as they develop, and it is easier to make arrangements with a landlord to work out a payment plan that is do-able on a realistic budget than it is to stop an eviction at the last minute, especially if the landlord feels that you are out of control or manipulative.

Extra roommates

Adding roommates without the knowledge of the landlord may be a violation of your rental agreement. However, New York State's Apartment Sharing law (Real Property Law Section 235-f) allows you to share your apartment with immediate family members, or one additional occupant and their dependent children, as long as you do not break the occupancy standard for your city or town. Troy's occupancy standard requires 70 square feet of bedroom space for the first occupant, 100 square feet of bedroom space for the second occupant, and an additional 50 square feet of bedroom space for each additional person. However, this is not generally enforced.

Additional tenants must abide by your lease. However, when there is no lease, your landlord may raise your rent, using a proper thirty-day notice in response to additional costs incurred because of any additional roommates.

Communication is key

The point here, of course, is that conflicts can arise between you and your landlord, but if they go unresolved your landlord may find it easier to just ask you to leave, or may even initiate eviction proceedings for more serious problems.

Landlords and tenants both tend to have high expectations of each other, but keeping the lines of communication open can help you head off a lot of potential problems. Also, remember to communicate in writing as often as you can; it is a good way of keeping a record of both any problems and their resolutions.

Avoiding complaints from your neighbors

Be considerate of your neighbors and tone down the noise if they complain about loud music or excessive partying. If complaints about your actions or activities, such as loud parties, are made to the City, it could assess points to the landlord under the Nuisance Abatement Law. If complaints are made to your landlord, it could result in your eviction.

Troy's Nuisance Abatement Law defines "public nuisances" and assigns points to the landlord upon the City finding a public nuisance occurring on his or her property. Accumulation of a certain number of points in a particular timeframe could result in the City shutting the property down. More often, a landlord who is assigned points because of tenants' behavior will evict the tenants. Public nuisances include violating the City's ordinances or laws about noise, howling dogs, litter, drugs, and alcohol, among other things.

Check the attached City of Troy Directory of Community Services brochure for further details about Troy's Nuisance Abatement laws.

Last modified: Apr 29, 2013