If you own a rental in New York, you have to be aware of the landlord and tenant laws in the state. Knowing the law can help you to protect yourself and ensure that you are not going to face any trouble or a possible lawsuit due to an action or inaction on your part. The laws will also help you in interactions with your tenants. One area of concern specifically is often the lease agreement. You may wonder if your tenants can legally break a lease agreement you have with them. This is good to know because you have to prepare if a tenant suddenly moves out.
The New York Times explains the law in the state is very much on your side when it comes to ensuring your tenants cannot break a lease legally. There are only two legal ways for your tenants to break a lease without having the legal repercussions of doing so.
The first is for you to voluntarily let them out of their lease. You do not have to do this regardless of the circumstances. However, you should consider each tenant on a case by case basis. Sometimes, a person has a valid reason for needing to get out of a lease. If you think you can easily find a new tenant, then you may agree. Just remember that you are not required by law to allow a tenant to break the lease.
The other option is if the tenant can prove the rental is uninhabitable. You would likely be aware of any such situations and be able to remedy them before things got to this point. So, it is unlikely that your tenants will be able to break their leases for this reason if you manage the upkeep of your rentals properly. This information is for education and is not legal advice.