Mayor de Blasio Signing Landlord Harassment Bill Into Law Today
City Council unanimously approved a bill last week that strengthens penalties for landlords guilty of harassing tenants. Momentum is with the little guy, it seems, as Mayor de Blasio will sign the bill into law later this afternoon with a public ceremony.
As previously reported, maximum penalty for offenders is increased from $5,000 per residential unit to $10,000 per residential unit. And for those found guilty more than once within a five-year period, the minimum fine is raised from $1,000 per residential unit to $2,000 per residential unit.
Guilty landlords are also subject to sanctioned “public shaming,” in which offenders are published on the HPD website alongside the address where the transgressions transpired.
The teeth won’t show, as it were, for another six months. Increased fines take effect 180 days after the legislation is signed; the requirement for an offenders list take effect 90 days after the legislation is signed.
However, it’s unlikely that such smear campaigns will have an effect on landlord actions. As one commenter noted, there are plenty of ways to harass tenants that barely register a blip on the proverbial radar. We’ll see if this new law carries any weight.