City Council passes tenant harassment legislation

Measures come in wake of complaints from renters across the city

New York /
Aug.August 14, 2015 11:05 AM

The New York City Council passed legislation that is expected to sharply curtail the practice of landlords using “tenant relocation specialists” to push tenants out of their rent-stabilized apartments.

The bill, sponsored by Council members Jumaane Williams and Dan Garodnick, amends the city Housing Maintenance Code’s definition of tenant harassment, making it unlawful for landlords or hired “tenant relocation specialists” to make tenant buyout offers without notifying residents of their right to refuse the offer.

The changes also require hired tenant relocation specialists, who generally receive a fee for each successful vacancy, to disclose that they are acting on behalf of the landlord. The measures come in wake of complaints from tenants, many of whom are rent regulated, that such buyouts amount to harassment.

“There are too many unscrupulous owners of rent stabilized buildings who will do anything to have a tenant vacate their apartment, including hiring a tenant relocator to get the job done,” Williams said in the statement, adding that tenants “don’t deserve to be intimidated out of their homes.”

Other elements of the City Council package include a measure, sponsored by council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, that would define repeat buyout offers, made after a tenant has asked for them to stop, as harassment.

Another measure, sponsored by Garodnick and Williams, would create a “licensing scheme” for tenant relocation specialists, who would need to pass an exam before becoming licensed for the job.

Garodnick recently helped secure funding for Stabilizing NYC, a tenant advocacy group that is running a “bad landlords” watch list in the city. — Rey Mashayekhi


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
City Council Member Robert Holden (Getty)
Bill would expose Council members’ rent-stabilized status
Bill would expose Council members’ rent-stabilized status
Silverstein Properties' Marty Burger, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, BedRock Real Estate's Tracey Appelbaum, City Council member Julie Won and Mayor Eric Adams with rendering of Innovation QNS (Silverstein Properties, Getty, New York City Council, Innovation QNS)
5 lessons from Silverstein’s Astoria deal
5 lessons from Silverstein’s Astoria deal
City Council member Shahana Hanif with 153-157 Ninth Street (Shahana Hanif, Getty, Google Maps)
Vise squad: Project foes put squeeze on Brooklyn pol
Vise squad: Project foes put squeeze on Brooklyn pol
Council member Shahana Hanif with 153-157 9th Street
Another rezoning gets through, but housing is shrunk
Another rezoning gets through, but housing is shrunk
Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the empty Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx and then-Council member Brad Lander with the former Long Island College Hospital (Getty, Google Maps; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
When pols ignore past, city pays price
When pols ignore past, city pays price
Silverstein Properties' Larry Silverstein, BedRock Real Estate Partners’ Tracey Appelbaum, City Council member Julie Won and a rendering of Innovation QNS (Getty, Innovation QNS, BedRock, NY City Council)
New twist in $2B drama between Silverstein, City Council
New twist in $2B drama between Silverstein, City Council
Mayor Eric Adams and City Council member Marjorie Velazquez with the Bruckner Boulevard rezoning site (NYC Department of Planning, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Council, developers strike deal for controversial Throggs Neck project
Council, developers strike deal for controversial Throggs Neck project
From left: Jake Elghanayan, Dan Garodnick an Maria Torres Springer (Getty Images, TF Cornerstone)
City officials say yes to land use reform, but face uphill battle
City officials say yes to land use reform, but face uphill battle
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...