City Council introduces package of tenant-harassment bills

If written into law, landlords could pay bigger civil penalties for violations

TRD New York /
Apr.April 10, 2017 09:55 AM

Melissa Mark-Viverito (Credit: Getty Images)

Members of the City Council are pushing a package of bills that would expand the definition of tenant harassment and increase penalties on shady landlords.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito introduced the bills last week along with members Mark Levine, Carlos Menchaca, Ritchie Torres, Helen Rosenthal and Jumaane Williams, Gothamist reported.

Among the proposed laws is a bill that would create a “rebuttable presumption,” which would mean a tenant would not have to prove intent in order to bring a harassment claim against a landlord in court.

Other proposed changes include counting harassment actions aimed at multiple tenants as “repeated” harassment, and allowing a court to consider “non-rent fees” on a rent bill as a harassment tool designed to make a tenant leave their home.

Bills in the package would also raise civil penalties for Violations And Create An Avenue for Housing Courts to award statutory, compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney’s fees and costs for harassment cases.

Levine introduced a bill that would classify visiting or contacting a tenant “repeatedly” during unusual hours as harassment.

“It is perfectly reasonable and legal for landlords to offer tenants buyouts, but a subset of unscrupulous landlords have gone further and repeatedly, insistently, aggressively early in the morning, late at night, pushed these offers that makes these tenants feel like they have no choice,” he said.

The city earlier this year said it was planning to set aside an additional $93 million over the next year to provide free legal access in Housing Court to tenants facing eviction. [Gothamist]Rich Bockmann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in Lower Manhattan (Credit: iStock)

Housing court could get a lot more political under reform plan

WeWork employees speak up to management, NY condo buyers can stay anonymous after all

WeWork employees speak up to management, NY condo buyers can stay anonymous after all

Airbnb lost by a landslide in Jersey City. What went wrong?

Airbnb lost by a landslide in Jersey City. What went wrong?

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (Credit: Twitter, iStock, Airbnb)

Stakes are high as Jersey City residents vote on Airbnb

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

By the numbers: Breaking down national housing agendas from the far left

Nuveen CEO Vijay Advani, Blackstone President & COO Jonathan Gray and one of the Texas properties

Blackstone just sold off a 29M sf national industrial portfolio

Granit Gjonbalaj (Credit: LinkedIn)

The purge continues: WeWork’s head of real estate is leaving

Judith and Rudy Giuliani Rudolph and Judith Giuliani are divorcing after 16 years. (Credit: Getty Images, Trulia, Highrises)

Luxury properties at play in Rudy Giuliani’s ugly divorce

arrow_forward_ios