A lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant, containing the terms and conditions of the rental. It cannot be changed while it is in effect unless both parties agree. Leases for apartments which are not rent stabilized may be oral or written. To avoid disputes, the parties
may wish to enter into a written agreement. A party must sign the lease in order to be bound by its terms. An oral lease for more than one year cannot be legally enforced (General Obligations Law § 5-701).
Across the nation, and due to the housing and unemployment crisis of the past decade and a half, many former homeowners have returned to renting property. Plagued by high unemployment, many college graduates have also put buying a home aside and settled in a generation of renters. Residential demographics from 2012 obtained by the National Multi-Housing Council indicate that renter-occupied households make up 32% of the total U.S. households. That number changes depending on the region with cities like New York and Los Angeles having 50% and 42% (respectively) households in rental properties. Continue reading