Tags: new york city | tenants | harassment | harass | rent

NYC, State Officials Join to Counter Tenant Harassment

By    |   Friday, 20 Feb 2015 10:56 AM

Officials in both New York City and New York state are working to crack down on tenant harassment by landlords in search of tenants able to pay more in rent.

The Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force is the creation of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and is a unique collaboration between city and state agencies, The New York Times reported.

Schneiderman has said that he will go after landlords more aggressively when complaints are filed and bring criminal charges against such violators when needed.

"This is a game-changer, to have the top law enforcement official in New York state weighing in on behalf of our tenants and fighting to protect affordable housing," de Blasio said during a press conference at South Brooklyn Legal Services, a nonprofit group, which provides legal assistance to low-income people.

The move was made after tenant harassment lawsuits filed in New York's Housing Court almost doubled from 435 in 2011 to 813 in 2014. In 2014, 10 tenant harassment investigations were launched by the state attorney general's office. In 2013, there only three investigations.

Such alleged tenant harassment occurs when landlords attempt to force tenants out of apartments with affordable rent prices, with the aim of garnering tenants who are capable of paying more in rent.

Landlords will allegedly go to great lengths to make it uncomfortable for tenants by turning off the heat, refusing to do needed repairs or resorting to scare tactics, which Schneiderman said has reportedly led to some landlords "hiring armed thugs to harass tenants."

However, such actions often leads tenants to move out on their own as landlords go unpunished, according to the Times.

The task force will allow for joint investigations by the city's Housing and Preservation Department and the Department of Buildings along with the state's Tenant Protection Unit.

De Blasio campaigned on bringing and preserving affordable housing in New York City when he ran for mayor in 2013.

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Officials in both New York City and New York state are working to crack down on tenant harassment by landlords in search of tenants able to pay more in rent.
new york city, tenants, harassment, harass, rent
329
2015-56-20
Friday, 20 Feb 2015 10:56 AM
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