Do you live in a rent-stabilized apartment? If so, you may already be aware that it is common-though illegal-for landlords of these buildings to try to force tenants out.
Tenants’ rights attorney Sam Himmelstein points out some “classic harassment techniques” caught on recordings of an NYC landlord’s attempt to remove tenants. Take a look at these types of tenant harassment so you can protect your rights if your landlord tries to remove you illegally.
Some common landlord tactics and what you should know about them:
- They tell you that construction in the building will be too unpleasant to live with. If construction makes your building uninhabitable, you don’t have to just live with it. You can file an HP action against the landlord.
- They threaten you with eviction and a smaller buyout if you don’t vacate the apartment now. You can file a complaint with the Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR) in these cases. Part IV of this form covers harassment tactics, including buyout offers and threats of eviction if you refuse to leave.
- They say your rent will go up because the building is being destabilized. The landlord cannot raise your rent higher than the legally permitted rate or change your stabilized status unless your income makes you deregulated. This can happen when your income is $200,000 or more for two consecutive years and if your rent is $2,733.75/month or higher.
- They threaten to report your immigration status. Landlords are not allowed to extort or threaten tenants due to their immigration status.
You do not have to live with tenant harassment. Read more about these harassment tactics and your options here. You can learn more about your specific situation by speaking with a tenants’ rights attorney.