Do-nothing landlords face penalties under bill

But some say fees will make it harder for building repairs to be made
May 14, 2014 10:15AM

City Council members Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso are set to unveil a bill today that would enact harsher penalties for some of the city’s worst landlords.

The bill, called the Quality Housing Act, would double the size of the Alternative Enforcement Program, which pinpoints properties with the most violations. Landlords who fail recurring inspections for the same violation would be hit with fees. Currently, it’s up to the Housing Preservation and Development Department or the tenants to take the landlord to court, the Wall Street Journal reported. Landlord advocates said the extra fees will make it harder for them to pay for building repairs.

“In a situation where the rents themselves are too low or you have tenants who have withheld rent for a variety of reasons, instead of trying to identify the owner as a bad guy, the solution is for the city…to come in and try to find out what the hell is going on,” Joseph Strasburg of the Rent Stabilization Association told the Journal. [WSJ]Mark Maurer