Yes, landlords can legally charge tenants for this.

If you are a renter or landlord in 2024 you should know these laws to protect you or prepare you in certain situations.

The New York State Attorney General has updated laws regarding landlords and tenants on the New York State website. According to the law, if you are late on paying your rent, you can/have to pay the fee of up to $50.

A rent payment can only be considered late if it is received more than five days after it is due. The most your landlord can charge as a late fee is $50 or 5% of your monthly rent, whichever is less (Real Property Law § 238-a). Tenants can use the failure by the landlord to provide this notice as an affirmative defense in a nonpayment of rent case, according to the New York State website.


Landlords can also legally charge for a background check as well. The most that a landlord can change for a background check is 20 bucks.

Do I have to submit a background check to my landlord?

If your landlord requires it, yes you need to submit it.

It is important to note that you DO NOT have to pay for a background check in New York State. Legally, the new laws allow you to submit your own background check and paperwork when applying for a new lease. Therefore, you do not have to pay for a background check, but it DOES have to be in the last 30 days.

If you are a landlord are you charging per background check? If you are a tenant what is the most that you have paid for a credit or a background check? You can see the Residential Tenants Rights Guide here.

Something you should know is, the updated law states that a landlord cannot charge you more than $20 for a background check, according to the New York State website.

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