[NYC] Tenant refuses to sign my lease

3 Replies

My tenant's lease expired June 1, refuses to sign my lease.  I presented him prior to June 1 and he shot back that my lease was full of holes while it is a simple residential lease.  He is now month to month and my lawyer is drafting up a rock solid lease which I will present him and give him 1 week to sign.  He also has a licensee living with him (not on lease) so I want to nip that in the bud now by having him put everyone on the lease.  Thoughts here?

It sounds like you're doing the right thing. Is the tenant paying rent? I wonder why the tenant is so reluctant to sign the lease.

Your tenant has trained you well.

When you have an illegal tenant in a unit, you can send the resident a lease violation notice stating that the person needs to be on the lease, and they can pay the application fee for the background check.  It could be your tenant is pushing back on signing your lease because he knows his licensee will not meet your screening requirements and he doesn't want to face those consequences.

If a resident doesn't want to sign your lease, usually the option is that they must move out.  It may be a good thing in the long run that you now have a better lease, but I expect that every time you ask this tenant to sign a lease, they will tell you all the problems it has to try to kick the can down the road.

Here is what I would do when you present them the new lease.  Tell them (in writing, and hopefully this is incorporated into your new lease) that month-to-month status adds $100 to the monthly rent.  When someone is already on month-to-month, typically only 30 days notice is required to put new rental rates into effect.  That $100/mo will give him a financial incentive to sign a new lease.

Good luck

@Eric W. Sounds like your going through the right motions getting your attorney involved in drafting the lease.  You can also ask your attorney to add a 'cover page' in the front of your lease on his letterhead stating these are the terms of the lease, you can sign the new lease by said due date or this is your 30 day notice'.  Having the letterhead will make your lease look more 'real' to help shoot down any perceived holes.  Of course I don't know NYs rules so check with your attorney.