Did you know that if a landlord includes a provision in the lease that awards fees to the landlord in a summary eviction proceeding, the tenant may also be entitled (as a matter of statutory law) to seek attorney’s fees?
Real Property Law § 234 provides:
Whenever a lease of residential property shall provide that in any action or summary proceeding the landlord may recover attorneys’ fees and/or expenses incurred as the result of the failure of the tenant to perform any covenant or agreement contained in such lease … there shall be implied in such lease a covenant by the landlord to pay the tenant the reasonable attorneys’ fees and/or expenses incurred by the tenant as the result of the failure of the landlord to perform any covenant or agreement on its part to be performed under the lease or in the successful defense of any action or summary proceeding commenced by the landlord against the tenant arising out of the lease.
Bottom Line– Review your lease. If your landlord puts a fees provision in the lease, and you have a problem, you may be entitled to recover your fees too.