At Will (termination requires 30 days notice in NY)
NY: residential leases must be written clear and coherent, and be appropriately divided and captioned.
Duties of tenant
Avoid waste (other than normal wear and tear)
Contractual duties (to repair, avoid excessive noise, use premises for a specific type of business, etc)
In NY: excused from paying rent if premises are destroyed.
Landlord remedies for breach of tenant's duties
Failure to Pay rent - sue for damages and to remove tenant. NO SELF HELP! Includes commercial leases, where notice is required before re-eentry. No duty to mitigate where failure to pay rent. If tenant fails to vacate after eviction, new tenant may bring action to evict holdover tenant or moay void lease altogether.
Abandonment - treat as offer to surrender, retake premises. Under common law: duty to mitigate damages. Under NY law: no duty to mitigate.
Holdover tenants - accept rent = periodic tenant w/ mirrored terms. No acceptance of rent = tenant at sufferance = landlord may evict. Where allowed: Self-help, impose higher rent.
Duties of landlord
Give actual possession of leashold premises - in NY, cannot refuse renting based solely on fact that potential tenant has children, except for retirement communities.
Warranty of Habitability (suited for residential use) - in NY, landlords of multiple family dwellings must keep property in good repair. Tenants also have this duty, and must repair damage caused by own negligence.
Covenant of quiet enjoyment (disallow nuisance and control common areas, no actual or constructive evictions)
Tenant liable for torts:
against invitees, licensees, and foreseeable trespassors on leasehold premises.
Landlord liable for torts:
occurring in common and public areas, and those resulting from hidden defects or faulty repairs completed by landlord.
Assignee's liability for rent
Privity btwn assignee and landlord. Directly liable to landlord for rent
Sublessee's liability for rent
No privity with landlord. Not liable to landlord for rent or any other covenant in the lease.
Liable only to lessee
Original tenant's liability to landlord upon assignment.
No privity of estate with landlord after assignment, but remains in privity of contract. Still liable to landlord for entire duration of lease, absent a novation.