City Council Passes Bills Aimed at Preventing Tenant Harassment
As you try to clean out your desk for year-end, so too is City Council. At its final meeting of the year this past Tuesday, the governing body passed a flurry of bills aimed at creating more affordable housing, preventing tenant harassment, and collecting landlord data.
The latter legislation is certainly one of the more intriguing (nay, pertinent) bills to receive approval. Soon you may be able to access centralized landlord-property information at your fingertips. Indeed, the City Council is charging the Department of Housing Preservation and Development with the creation of an online tool where New Yorkers can access up-to-date information about the properties landlords own in the city. For instance, the types of building violations and/or any tenant harassment record.
In addition, the HPD is asked (in a separate bill) to map vacant buildings that could be prime sites to develop future affordable housing.
A website database linking property owners and any potential violations or harassment would be a huge score for tenants, especially the rent-regulated, that suffer the wrath of landlords seeking to renovate and remodel. This so-called “upscaling” has been a chronic problem on the Lower East Side in recent years.
The bills in question are now on the desk of Mayor de Blasio for signature into law.