Do you want to move in with your children or to a retirement facility, but you still have 18 months left on your lease? Did you know there are circumstances where seniors can end or terminate a lease?
If you are age 62 or over, the law is as follows:
If you’re relocating to an adult care facility, a residential health care facility (nursing home), low-income housing, senior citizen housing, or to live with other family members, you have the right to terminate a lease. You simply have to have your physician write a letter stating that you are no longer able to live independently.
This law applies to both you and to your spouse, provided you are living together.
Here’s what you do: Provide written notice to the landlord of your termination date. The date can be no earlier than 30 days after the date on which your next rent payment is due. This allows the landlord a chance to re-rent your place. You must include documentation of admission or pending admission to one of the facilities listed above. If you are moving in with family, provide a letter from a daughter, son or other family member indicating that you are coming to live with them.
There are penalties to landlords who do not comply, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a one thousand dollar fine!
Another thing to know: You are allowed a three-day “cooling off” period to cancel a lease or contract entered into for senior citizen housing–whether it’s a nursing home or an assisted living facility. You also have the legal right to reinstate your original lease or rental agreement until midnight of the fifth business day after notification of terminating that lease or rental agreement. So even if the landlord rents out your place the day after you leave, if you decide you want to go back to your apartment after a day or two, he has to comply. Period. Learn more about Section 227(a) of New York State Real Property Law which outlines the rights of people aged 62 and over to terminate a residential lease or rental agreement.