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
‘Paying the severance would have cost more’: New law pushes hotels to reopen
“Paying the severance would have cost more”: New law pushes hotels to reopen
“Paying the severance would have cost more”: New law pushes hotels to reopen
Bronx development files late, and local pol claims credit
Bronx development files late, and local pol claims credit
Bronx development files late, and local pol claims credit
Gotham Organization Chairman Joel Picket with the proposed development at 130 Felix Street. (Getty, 130 Felix)
These projects just beat the rezoning deadline
These projects just beat the rezoning deadline
Council member Rafael Salamanca Jr and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Getty, Facebook via Salamanca Jr.)
City Council to require racial equity reports for rezonings
City Council to require racial equity reports for rezonings
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)
City expands free legal services for tenants, fearing eviction rush
City expands free legal services for tenants, fearing eviction rush
Andrew Yang (Getty)
Does Andrew Yang’s housing plan make sense?
Does Andrew Yang’s housing plan make sense?
(Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Tenant activist nixed from City Planning Commission
Tenant activist nixed from City Planning Commission
Democrat James Gennaro won the City Council election against Moumita Ahmed. (Facebook via Gennaro, Twitter via Ahmed)
Real estate helps moderate crush socialist in City Council race
Real estate helps moderate crush socialist in City Council race
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...