The Real Deal New York

City Council votes 49-0 to double fines for tenant harassment

Bill also calls for creation of public list of problem landlords

September 25, 2014 12:30PM

From left: Jumaane Williams, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Margaret Chin

From left: Jumaane Williams, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Margaret Chin

New York City Council approved a bill Tuesday that would create a public registry of landlords who harass their tenants.

The bill, which passed 49-0, also doubles the maximum fine for landlords found guilty of bullying their tenants to $10,000. Harassment covers a wide range of violations, but can include actions as simple as disruptive renovations and falsely accusing tenants of not paying rent.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council members Margaret Chin and Jumaane Williams co-sponsored the bill. A number of landlord groups, however, opposed the legislation.

“There’s two sides to the story and oftentimes there’s a legitimate reason why something in a building may not be 100 percent correct,” Frank Ricci of the Rent Stabilization Association told the Daily News. “That doesn’t mean it’s harassment.” [NYDN]Julie Strickland

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