24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

New York Penal Law 180.57: Rent gouging in the first degree

When a tenant rents a home from a landlord, there is usually a lease or an agreement drawn up that details how much the tenant will pay for rent and the deposit required. There is also information in the document about the responsibilities of the landlord to the tenant and what the tenant can or can’t do in the home. If a landlord has several properties, or even one or two properties that are managed, and asks for more money in addition to the amount of rent that has been set upon in order to have a better chance at renting a home or to have a better chance at signing another lease, the act is considered rent gouging. The landlord is trying to make more money off of the people who are renting from that person instead of abiding by the agreements that have been set forth. There are some landlords who will ask for money to support a political cause or an organization. When the chance of getting into a home or renewing a lease is dependent on the tenant donating money in this fashion along with paying the rent, it’s another form of first-degree rent gouging.

A landlord can be charged with gouging if more money is demanded or asked for if the rent is regulated by the government. Most of the time, there needs to be at least three separate incidents where the landlord attempts or receives more money that what is required each month for the act to be considered first-degree rent gouging. This crime is one that is considered a class E felony. In the event that the landlord is found guilty and a sentence is delivered, the landlord could be put in jail for up to four years. If jail is avoided, then the landlord could be placed on probation for up to five years. Fines and restitution to the tenants would also be a part of the punishment given.

Examples Of Rent Gouging
A landlord has three apartments that are available to rent. There is a set amount for each unit. Five people are interested in the units, so the landlord has to make a decision about who will get the three units. The landlord asks each person for more money for some reason or another in order to increase the possibility of getting into the unit. This is a typical form of rent gouging. Another example would be to tell a tenant that work will only be done to the home if more money is paid with the rent each month. If a tornado or another severe storm would come through an area and destroy a home or damage a home, a landlord might ask for more money from the tenant each month. The landlord could be increasing the price of the rent for those who live in homes that aren’t damaged in order to build another home or increase the rent to pay for the damages to be fixed to homes that tenants occupy.

Defenses To Rent Gouging
A NYC attorney can assist with a rent gouging charge by forcing the prosecution to prove that the landlord made three attempts or transactions to get money from tenants. If the attorney can examine the evidence and show that the money received was for a legitimate cause or reason, then the charges could be dropped.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

New York Penal Law 180.56: Rent gouging in the second degree

New York City is one of the most populated and dense cities in the world. Due to the strong economic strength and allue of the city, it also has a very competitive real estate market. This is particularly true for rental units, which could see dramatic increases in rent. To protect the rights of tenants, and control rental prices, the city has a number of rent gouging and control laws. One of the more significant is rent gouging in the second degree.

The crime of rent gouging in the second degree is a crime in which a landlord forces a tenant to pay a fee on top of rent for a future promise. A common future promise could include the promise to sign a lease or the promise to renew the lease in the future. For rent gouging in the second degree, the amount of money received on top of rent must exceed $250.

There have been many examples of rent gouging in the second degree in the past. One example of this would be a situation in which a landlord has a unit for rent. In the city, it is common that a market-priced lease will receive a number of applications. After the landlord has gone through the applications, they may feel enticed to earn more money based on the demand. If the landlord requires the winning tenant to pay a fee in excess of $250, this could be a violation of the law.

If the fee $250 or more fee was disclosed at the time of marketing, it would not be a violation. However, any additional fee charged for any additional promise or to increase the chance of winning, would be considered a violation.

Defense of the Crime
Those that have been charged with rent gouging in the second degree should consider hiring a lawyer to help with the situation. A NYC criminal lawyer could help build a case. A common defense to the case would be making it difficult to prove that the $250 was for a future promise. A defense attorney could make the case that the landlord required this as an additional fee due to concerns over the tenants credit worthiness or background. Furthermore, if the amount of the penalty was below $250, it would automatically be a first degree offense and the case would be tossed out.

The New York law takes rent gouging in the second degree very seriously. The punishment of the crime will vary considerably from one person to the next. In most cases, the judge will fine the landlord a nominal amount and will require them to reimburse the victim the amount of money, plus additional damages.

If the convicted person has a history of these charges, there could be a more sever penalty. A judge has the right to sentence someone up to 1 year in prison for the crime and fees could increase beyond $10,000 for multiple offenses.

Those that are convicted could also face civil penalties as well. The victim in the case would have a strong case for a civil lawsuit and the city may attempt to restrict the landlord for leasing properties in the future.

In conclusion, rent gouging in the second degree is a serious penalty in New York. Those that are charged with the crime should consider hiring a NYC criminal attorney. NYC criminal lawyers that are experienced in these types of cases will be able to help you to negotiate with the judge and prosecutor. This could help you to avoid more serious penalties and fines due to the crime.

New York Penal Law 180.55: Rent gouging in the third degree

New York Penal Law 180.55: Rent gouging in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor offense. In simple terms, this penalty relates to asking a tenant or potential tenant for an additional payment of less than two hundred fifty dollars on top of the agreed upon rent in order to secure a lease or renew a lease contract. Asking for extra money from such a person is called rent gouging. This practice is illegal in the state of New York.

It is possible to be charged with rent gouging in the third degree if you accept or make an agreement to accept extra money on top of the monthly rent price solely based on the intention of accepting a tenant or potential tenant. Also, if one were to deny a tenant access to a lease if they do not pay this extra sum of money, they are guilty of New York penal law 180.55. Beyond denying the lease, it is also considered rent gouging in the third degree if the chances for accepting the lease are diminished if the tenant or potential tenant does not pay the additional amount of less than two hundred fifty dollars.

There are two additional degrees of rent gouging. New York Penal Law 180.56 deals with rent gouging in the second degree. New York Penal Law 180.57 is rent gouging in the first degree. Both are related offenses and are subject to either repeat offenses or higher sums of agreed upon money aside from the rent in exchange for securing a lease.


Being that New York City is some of the most sought after real estate in the country, for any given apartment there are usually several candidates a landlord considers. If, after interviewing the nominees and narrowing down the possibilities, a landlord calls the family he prefers the most and says that their lease application would be approved pending a $200 payment to the home’s “renovation costs.” If the family paid the landlord this sum and then noticed that the home looked exactly the same as it did when they first viewed it, they are likely to ask the landlord where the money was spent. If the money was kept solely for the securing of the lease and not put into renovation, the landlord is guilty of rent gouging in the third degree.


Rent gouging is contingent upon a sum of money paid of less than two hundred fifty dollars to secure a potential lease. It is possible to argue that this payment was paid for the purpose of extending a tenant on their lease or obtaining a new tenant based on this money. For instance, a NYC criminal attorney could argue that the money presented in the charge was paid for securing a lease. It is possible that the money was paid for a pet deposit, for a security deposit, for payment of monthly or yearly amenities (such as hot water, electricity, or gas), a deposit on the furniture in a furnished apartment, or some other legal reason. In this way, one could challenge the charge of New York Penal Code 180.55: rent gouging in the third degree.


Being that rent gouging in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor crime, there is a possible maximum of 90 days in prison pending conviction. In addition, one could face up to one year of probation, payment of a fine, and restitution paid to the victim of the rent gouging.

Schedule Your Consultation Now