N.Y. Real Property Law Section 238-A
Limitation on fees


In relation to a residential dwelling unit:

1.

(a) Except in instances where statutes or regulations provide for a payment, fee or charge, no landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor may demand any payment, fee, or charge for the processing, review or acceptance of an application, or demand any other payment, fee or charge before or at the beginning of the tenancy, except background checks and credit checks as provided by paragraph (b) of this subdivision, provided that this subdivision shall not apply to entrance fees charged by continuing care retirement communities licensed pursuant to article forty-six or forty-six-A of the public health law, assisted living providers licensed pursuant to article forty-six-B of the public health law, adult care facilities licensed pursuant to article seven of the social services law, senior residential communities that have submitted an offering plan to the attorney general, or not-for-profit independent retirement communities that offer personal emergency response, housekeeping, transportation and meals to their residents. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a cooperative housing corporation, other than a cooperative housing corporation subject to the provisions of article two, article four, article five or article eleven of the private housing finance law, from demanding from a prospective tenant any payment, fee or charge which is necessary to compensate a managing agent and/or transfer agent for the processing, review or acceptance of such prospective tenant’s application where such prospective tenant would become a dwelling unit owner or shareholder of such cooperative housing corporation.

(b)

A landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor may charge a fee or fees to reimburse costs associated with conducting a background check and credit check, provided the cumulative fee or fees for such checks is no more than the actual cost of the background check and credit check or twenty dollars, whichever is less, and the landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor shall waive the fee or fees if the potential tenant provides a copy of a background check or credit check conducted within the past thirty days. The landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor may not collect the fee or fees unless the landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor provides the potential tenant with a copy of the background check or credit check and the receipt or invoice from the entity conducting the background check or credit check. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, a cooperative housing corporation shall be permitted to charge a fee or fees to reimburse costs associated with conducting a background check and credit check in excess of twenty dollars, where the potential tenant would become a dwelling unit owner or shareholder of such cooperative housing corporation, provided the cumulative fee or fees for such checks is no more than the actual cost of such background check and/or credit check. Further, with regard to a cooperative housing corporation subject to the provisions of article two, article four, article five or article eleven of the private housing finance law, all such fees must be reasonable and approved by the agency supervising such cooperative housing corporation.

2.

No landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor may demand any payment, fee, or charge for the late payment of rent unless the payment of rent has not been made within five days of the date it was due, and such payment, fee, or charge shall not exceed fifty dollars or five percent of the monthly rent, whichever is less; provided a cooperative housing corporation, other than a cooperative housing corporation subject to the provisions of article two, article four, article five or article eleven of the private housing finance law, shall be permitted to charge a tenant that is a dwelling unit owner or shareholder of such cooperative housing corporation a fee of up to eight percent of the monthly maintenance fee for the late payment of the monthly maintenance fee if the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement provides for such fee.

3.

Any provision of a lease or contract waiving or limiting the provisions of this section shall be void as against public policy.

Source: Section 238-A — Limitation on fees, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/RPP/238-A (updated Mar. 4, 2022; accessed Apr. 20, 2024).

220
Action for use and occupation
221
Rent due on life leases recoverable
222
When rent is apportionable
223
Rights where property or lease is transferred
223‑A
Remedies of lessee when possession is not delivered
223‑B
Retaliation by landlord against tenant
224
Attornment by tenant
225
Notice of action adverse to possession of tenant
226
Effect of renewal on sub-lease
226‑A
Effect of new lease on tenant’s right to remove fixtures or improvements
226‑B
Right to sublease or assign
226‑C
Notice of rent increase or non-renewal of residential tenancy
227
When tenant may surrender premises
227‑A
Termination of residential lease by senior citizens or individuals with a disability moving to a residence of a family member or entering...
227‑B
Termination of certain contracts by senior citizens
227‑C
Termination of residential lease by victims of domestic violence
227‑D
Discrimination based on domestic violence status
227‑E
Landlord duty to mitigate damages
227‑F
Denial on the basis of involvement in prior disputes prohibited
228
Termination of tenancies at will or by sufferance, by notice
229
Liability of tenant holding over after giving notice of intention to quit
230
Right of tenants to form, join or participate in tenants’ groups
231
Lease, when void
231‑A
Sprinkler system notice in residential leases
231‑B
Flood history and risk notice in residential leases
232
Duration of certain agreements in New York
232‑A
Notice to terminate monthly tenancy or tenancy from month to month in the city of New York
232‑B
Notification to terminate monthly tenancy or tenancy from month to month outside the city of New York
232‑C
Holding over by a tenant after expiration of a term longer than one month
233
Manufactured home parks
233‑A
Sale of manufactured home parks
233‑B
Manufactured home parks
233‑B*2
Campgrounds
234
Right to recover attorneys’ fees in actions or summary proceedings arising out of leases of residential property
234‑A
Unauthorized legal fees
235
Wilful violations
235‑A
Tenant right to offset payments and entitlement to damages in certain cases
235‑B
Warranty of habitability
235‑BB
Certificates of occupancy
235‑C
Unconscionable lease or clause
235‑D
Harassment
235‑E
Duty to provide a written receipt
235‑F
Unlawful restrictions on occupancy
235‑G
Electronic billing and/or payment of rent
235‑H
Waiver of right to bring a declaratory judgment action
235‑I
Unreasonable tenant fees for reproductions of keys
236
Assignment of lease of a deceased tenant
236‑A
Termination of lease of a deceased tenant
237
Discrimination in leases with respect to bearing of children
237‑A
Discrimination against children in dwelling houses and manufactured home parks
238
Agreements or contracts for privileges to deal with occupants of tenements, apartment houses or bungalow colonies
238‑A
Limitation on fees

Accessed:
Apr. 20, 2024

Last modified:
Mar. 4, 2022

§ 238-A’s source at nysenate​.gov

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