Tenant-Landlord Issues

The resources on this site are offered to tenants and landlords in the hope  of avoiding difficult rental housing situations.

This Model Residential Lease (PDF, 211K) shows the type of language and issues covered in a rental agreement (from the NY State Consumer Protection Board, 2007).

The Ithaca City Code (Chapter 258) deals with rental housing (content posted by the Buildings Department on the City of Ithaca web site).

The New York State Tenant's Rights Guide is a 36-page document (PDF, 777K) that lists and explains the laws that both tenants and landlords need to know, on topics including: leases, rent payments, security deposits, repairs, tenant safety,  utilities, apartment brokers, and more. It includes a list of contact information that can provide additional help (produced by the NY State Attorney General's Office, 2008).

Complaints about the return of Rent Security Deposits can be filed with the NYS Office of the Attorney General if all attempts to resolve the dispute by the individuals involved have failed. 

How to Make an Effective Complaint for Rental Issues

  • IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM. It is important to be very clear about the nature of the complaint. For example, security deposit, heat, or property maintenance.
  • ORGANIZE THE DETAILS. Be specific on when, where, and time that the problem occurred. If possible, take pictures of the problem.
  • KEEP A FILE of all your efforts to resolve the problem. It should include the names of the individuals you speak with, and the date, time, and outcome of the conversation.  
  • CONTACT THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY. Call or write the owner and state the problem and ask for a time frame for the corrections to be made. 
  • BE PERSISTENT. Call the owner back if the problem hasn't been taken care of in the time frame that was given. 
  • IF THE OWNER HAS NOT RESPONDED, call the local Building Department or Code Enforcement Officer and make a formal complaint. The inspector will follow through with the complaint and if valid, will contact the owner to ensure all the necessary repairs are made. 

In the City of Ithaca, the Building Department can be reached at 274-6508.
City of Ithaca Building Department 
City Hall 
108 East Green Street 
Ithaca , NY 14850

Last Updated: May 23, 2013

Last updated: May 23rd 2013 - 2:12pm