City Passes Bills Targeting Landlords Who Harass Rent-Regulated Tenants

Posted on: August 17th, 2015 at 10:28 am by

Here on the Lower East Side, tenant harassment is rampant. In gold-rush neighborhoods like ours, speculators try their hardest to squeeze every penny out of rent-stabilized buildings by offering buyouts and illegally jacking the rent. The city is finally taking notice, and now, action.

As of last week, the playbook of tenant harassment tactics is further under the microscope. Indeed, the City Council passed three-pronged legislation on Thursday which outlaws some of the most egregious actions.

According to a report in the Daily News, the bills outline the following:

  • Landlords are banned from basically “shadowing” tenants – threatening and cursing out tenants, calling repeatedly late at night, tracking them down at work, or providing false information to push the buyout agenda. This type of harassment is most often employed by “relocation specialists” such as Michel Pimienta, who somehow manage to skirt the law.
  • Repeated buyout offers within 180 days after tenant has already made it clear they’re not interested in being bought.
  • Landlords would be required to inform tenants of their rights during any buyout proceedings, including the right to reject any offer and to hire a lawyer.

The three bills passed the City Council by a vote of 41-1. Now it’s on to the Mayor for signature.

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