Real estate industry says tenants’ rights bill will clog courts

New York /
Mar.March 03, 2008 05:01 PM

Real estate lawyers and lobbyists say a newly-passed bill that allows tenants to sue landlords for harassment would jam up the court system. 

The bill, which the City Council unanimously passed last Wednesday, must be signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It allows tenants to sue landlords for harassment, which can include incessant buy-out offers by owners eager to turn low-performing units into high-end rentals, the bill’s sponsors said.  

Adam Leitman Bailey, an ALB Law PC attorney who represents both landlords and tenants, said the bill was “irresponsible” and would unleash a flood of frivolous cases.

Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito, one of the co-sponsors of bill 627-A, disagreed, saying the vast majority of Housing Court cases are initiated by landlords.   

“It is a great day in the city when we can provide added protection for tenants against over-aggressive landlords who intend to force them out,” she said.

Another co-sponsor, Daniel Gardonick, said the bill “responsibly balances [tenants’] rights with safeguards for landlords from tenants who may try to overreach.”

Several council members say they are receiving more complaints from residents who claim they are getting pestered to move or have had services denied repeatedly as a way to force them out.      

Bloomberg is expected to sign the bill, which the Housing Preservation and Development department endorsed with minor changes at two public hearings. But Bailey, the real estate attorney, said the mayor might think twice because the city will need “a new court house to accommodate all the new cases.”

The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents
the city’s rental property owners, and The Real Estate Board of New York opposed the bill.

“We call it the landlord harassment bill,” Steven Spinola, REBNY’s president, told The Real Deal for an article in its February issue.  

Spinola had said that the Housing Preservation and Development department should first provide evidence of a violation before a tenant can sue for harassment.

The final bill clarified that tenants should not be able to sue while a landlord is attempting to fix service interruptions or problems, said Mark-Viverito.

The final bill also eliminated one and two-family homes from the harassment designation.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)
Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)
Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio
Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio
Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)
Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out
Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out
Abraham Edgardo Ortega is one of nine people charged in the laundering scheme. (Getty, Department of Justice)
Former Venezuelan oil exec sentenced in $1B money laundering scheme
Former Venezuelan oil exec sentenced in $1B money laundering scheme
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Getty, iStock)
Mark Zuckerberg nearly doubles Hawaii real estate holdings
Mark Zuckerberg nearly doubles Hawaii real estate holdings
The Montana property with director Robert Redford and star Brad Pitt. (Getty, Swan Land Company)
“A River Runs Through It” Montana ranch lists for $136M
“A River Runs Through It” Montana ranch lists for $136M
Protestors in support of street vendors gather in Hudson Yards on May 7, 2021 (Getty)
“More churros, less cops”: Vendors and Related face off
“More churros, less cops”: Vendors and Related face off
From left: 944 Fifth Avenue, 67-69 East 93rd Street and 15 East 88th Street (Google Maps)
Three Manhattan sellers aim high asking $25M+ for luxury pads
Three Manhattan sellers aim high asking $25M+ for luxury pads
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...