guidebook module: Leases and Rental Agreements

Tenant Rights

  • The Housing Council at PathStone in Rochester provides a comprehensive manual on tenant rights and responsibilities. This is an excellent reference tool that outlines information for tenants on paying rent, apartment living, understanding leases and rental agreements, the eviction process, and how to move out. It is available in both English and Spanish.

Tenant Rights & Responsibilities
Los Derechos y Responsabilidades de los Inquilinos

  • LawNY provides the following general legal guidance on basic eviction information in New York State as well as what to know about illegal attempts to evict a tenant.

General Eviction Information in New York State
Illegal Evictions

  • The City of Albany, NY provides a flyer titled Renters Bill of Rights that highlights a variety of tenant rights using pictures and text. The flyer can be seen to the right, and it can be accessed at the following link to be downloaded or printed as needed.

Renters Bill of Rights

  • The New York State Office of the Attorney General provides this brochure highlighting rights and key information for New Yorkers to know related to source of income discrimination.

Source of Income Discrimination brochure

  • The New York State Office of the Attorney General provides an extensive guide on tenant rights that covers several topics, including types of leases, rent charges, subletting or apartment sharing, repairs, safety features, and utility services. The guide is available in both English and Spanish.

Tenants' Rights Guide
Guía de los Derechos del Inquilino

  • The Monroe Housing Collaborative in Rochester, New York provides this step-by-step guide with general guidance for avoiding evictions. Additionally, they provide written material outlining information that will be needed by applicants applying for housing opportunities.

Avoiding Eviction
What Information Do I Need to Apply for Housing?

  • Section 227-A of Article 7 of the Real Property Laws of New York State allows for the early termination of a lease or rental agreement by a person with a disability who is moving to a family home, certain health care/adult care facilities, or subsidized housing. The law provides protections for qualifying tenants who provide written notice of thirty days as outlined in the link below.

Section 227-A - Residential Lease Termination

Know Your Terms

  • The First Time Renter’s Apartment Guide provides tips and resources for those preparing for their first move. Included in this guide are sections on preparing for the apartment search and understanding the terms of a lease as well as additional links to information on renter’s insurance and security deposits.

First Time Renter's Apartment Guide
Understand Your Lease Before Signing It
Know the Components of an Apartment Lease Agreement

  • NYS Homes and Community Renewal provides a brief overview of topics related to the terms of a lease followed by a frequently asked questions section and fact sheets for each topic that can be downloaded or printed.


  • The Housing Council at PathStone in Rochester provides two important resources for renters when moving in / out. The first is an inspection checklist that can be used when moving in or moving out to keep track of the condition of the rental unit. The second is a brochure that highlights the important things a renter needs to know about paying and getting back a security deposit.

Move-In & Move-Out Inspection Checklist
Security Deposit Information

  • LawNY provides general legal guidance for commonly asked questions related to security deposits and issues that renters sometimes have in getting back their deposit.

Security Deposits

  • LawNY shares the following articles on things to avoid when paying your rent.

Beware of Paying your Rent with Money Orders
Beware of Working for your Landlord Instead of Paying Rent

  • The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities provides a brochure for landlords on housing subsidies paid through Individual Supports and Services (ISS). This brochure can be shared with landlords or property managers to provide education on the policies and procedures regulating this subsidy as well as the benefit to landlords in renting to a tenant with this subsidy. It is currently available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.

OPWDD ISS Housing Subsidy brochure - English
OPWDD ISS Housing Subsidy brochure - Spanish
OPWDD ISS Housing Subsidy brochure - Chinese
OPWDD ISS Housing Subsidy brochure - Korean

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