Our partner, Jarred I. Kassenoff, appeared in Sunday's New York Times Real Estate Section responding to a reader's question.
Here's the piece in its entirety:
A Month to Go on Brownstone Leaseby JAY ROMANO
Q My family and I rent the first floor of a non-rent-stabilized brownstone in Brooklyn . We moved there in early March 2011, after signing a one-year lease for $3,500 a month. We have not yet received either a lease renewal or a letter informing us that the lease will not be renewed. What is our current status?
A Jarred I. Kassenoff, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, says an unregulated tenant is not entitled to a lease renewal unless the lease itself provides for one. If, at the end of the current lease term, the landlord does not provide a renewal lease, the tenant becomes a "holdover tenant." If the tenant continues to pay the current rent, and the landlord accepts it, the tenant is considered a "month-to-month" tenant and notice of tenancy termination can be started after 30 days. If the landlord declines to accept the current rent, the tenant is subject to eviction and can be liable for the "fair market value" of the apartment for the period he "holds over," as well as be required to pay any legal expenses incurred by the landlord to evict him if the original lease provided for that. So if the tenant is not prepared to leave, he should ask for an extension of the lease.