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If you’re looking for cheap renters insurance in New York, consider getting quotes from NYCM Insurance, Utica National and Prefered Mutual. In our analysis, those companies offer the cheapest renters insurance in the state, among the companies we analyzed.
But there are many companies offering New York renters insurance for less than $200 a year, so it’s smart to gather multiple quotes.
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What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance covers a wide range of problems such as theft, fire and explosions. Renters insurance can be broken down into these main coverage types.
- Personal property insurance covers all your personal items such as jewelry, clothing, electronics and furniture.
- Liability insurance covers injuries and property damage you accidentally cause to others. For example, a visitor could slip and fall in your apartment or you could accidentally damage a neighbor’s shed. Both these problems could be covered under liability insurance. Liability also pays for a legal defense if you are sued because of an accident.
- Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage pays for expenses like restaurant meals and hotel bills if you cannot live in your home because of a problem covered by your policy (like a fire). Other extra expenses, such as pet boarding fees, can also be covered by ALE.
To provide an extra layer of liability protection, consider an umbrella insurance policy. An umbrella policy kicks in when your renters insurance liability policy limits are exhausted—for example, because of a large injury lawsuit against you.
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Average renters insurance cost
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When Can You Be Evicted in New York?
A renter in New York with a lease cannot be evicted during the lease period, except for the following reasons:
- You violated provisions of the lease, such as nonpayment of rent
- You violated any housing laws and any housing codes
If you are behind on your rent, you have a little time to make it up. A landlord may not take you to court for failing to pay rent unless you are given a 14-day written notice demanding the rent.
Rules on Security Deposits in New York
In New York, a security deposit is limited to no greater than one month’s rent. This limit means that your landlord cannot ask for both a security deposit and last month’s rent.
Landlords of buildings with six or more apartments must put all the security deposits in New York bank accounts earning interest at the current rate. As a renter, you must be informed in writing of the bank’s name and address and the amount of the security deposit. Your landlord may collect an annual administrative expenses amount of 1% of the security deposit. The remainder of the interest on the account belongs to the renter.
If you live in an apartment that is not rent controlled and not rent stabilized, your landlord must return your security deposit within 14 days of you moving out. If your landlord decides to take any money out of the security deposit because of damages to the apartment, the landlord must provide an itemized receipt of the damages. If your landlord does not provide this receipt within 14 days of the day you moved out, your landlord must return the entire security deposit.
Rules on Rent Increases in New York
In New York, rent control may limit the amount of rent a landlord may charge for a rental unit. In New York, rent control is in effect in New York City, as well as parts of Albany, Erie, Nassau, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Westchester counties.
In New York, the rent control program applies to residential buildings that were built before February 1947 in cities that have not declared the ending to the postwar rental housing emergency. For an apartment to be under rent control, the renter or the renter’s successor—such as a family member or spouse—must have been living in the apartment on a continuous basis since before July 1, 1971.
When a rent controlled apartment becomes available in New York City, it becomes rent stabilized. The apartment has a maximum base rent that is adjusted every two years for changes in operating costs, but it cannot exceed the “maximum collectible rent.” The maximum collectible rent is adjusted annually based on the average of the past five years of local rent guideline board orders for one-year leases, or 7.5%, whichever amount is lower.
In New York City, apartments that are under rent stabilization are generally:
- An apartment that is not otherwise rent controlled in a building built prior to Jan. 1, 1974, with six or more units
- A formerly rent controlled apartment that is vacant and without a lawful successor
- In a building with three or more units constructed or extensively renovated on or after Jan. 1, 1974, with special tax benefits
Outside of New York City, rent stabilized apartments are typically found in buildings with six or more units that were built prior to Jan. 1, 1974.
If a landlord of an apartment without rent control and without rent stabilization wishes to renew your lease with an increase of more than 5%, the landlord must provide notice of:
- 30 days if you lived in the unit for less than one year
- 60 days if you lived in the unit for more than one year
- 90 days if you lived in the unit for two years or more
When Can a Landlord Enter Your Apartment?
In New York, your landlord may enter your apartment or rental unit with prior notice at a reasonable time and with your consent to perform repairs or services. If you unreasonably withhold consent for your landlord to enter your apartment, your landlord can seek a court order to permit entry.
In case of an emergency such as a fire or a water leak, a landlord may enter your apartment without your consent and without notice.
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