I just picked up my lease renewal, and the two year renewal option was automatically marked. Not cool. Does this mean the one-year option is not available? Can they do that? Help! I don’t want to move :(
Disclaimer: IANAL and I don’t know anything about New York tenant laws.
If it’s not a rent-controlled apartment, I bet there’s no legal recourse for you to prevent them from requiring a 2-year lease. They can’t increase your term after you’ve signed a lease, but this is for a new one that you need to agree to before it’s binding. I doubt that they have any obligation to keep any part of the old lease, including the duration, price, or terms — barring imposed controls, it doesn’t really matter that you already live there. They don’t even have to renew your lease at all.
But it’s possible that this was just a clerical error or an unscrupulous landlord hoping you weren’t very observant or assertive. Call and ask for a 1-year renewal, and make sure you get that on paper: get a new copy of the renewal contract with a 1-year term clearly indicated.
If they won’t do it, then you’re stuck with either accepting the 2-year term or moving.