The City Council is expected to pass a bill on Tuesday that will double fines for landlords who harass their tenants. The bill will also create a public list of the worst offenders, which would be maintained by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
According to those in support of the bill — a group that includes City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito — the proposal will help protect tenants from being pushed out of their homes, according to the Wall Street Journal. Harassment of tenants covers a wide range of violations, but can be as simple as landlords starting disruptive renovations without the intent of finishing them and falsely accusing tenants of not paying rent.
The new bill would raise the maximum fine for landlords found guilty of harassment from $5,000 to $10,000.
Council members Margaret Chin and Jumaane Williams co-sponsored the bill. According to the Wall Street Journal, the de Blasio administration as well as the Democrats in the City Council support the bill.
Opponents of the bill — mostly landlord advocates — said the new bill would have a negative effect on small-building owners. [WSJ] — Claire Moses