New York City pro-landlord groups frequently assert that tenants’ complaints lack substance or are exaggerated. Tenant advocates and renters’ organizations point to landlord abuses grounded in efforts to oust tenants from units or unlawfully jack up their rents. Prominent landlord coalitions decry such accusations, calling them largely unfounded.
Which side is more readily believable?
We believe at the proven pro-tenants’ law firm of Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben & Joseph in Manhattan that the answer to that question is both easy and obvious.
Moreover, it is buttressed by data relevant to the NYC housing universe that regularly emerges.
Here’s one such piece of empirical evidence: Reportedly, more than 18,000 evictions were carried out last year across NYC. Extrapolated, that equates to more than 49 a day every single day of the year.
And here’s something else that is notable and that bathes select landlords in a particularly harsh light: Among the many thousands of NYC landlords, just a very few account for an inordinately high number of those ousters. A recent article spotlighting those property owners/managers notes that a mere 20 of them “booted nearly 2,200 tenants out of their homes” during 2018.”
That puts them in a distinct category, rendering them entrants on the so-called “Worst Evictors” list.
The motivations of those landlords are clear. In some instances, they seek to evict current tenants so they can spike rents for newly incoming individuals and families. In other cases, they may want to destroy or materially gut an existing property in order to recreate it as a luxury living community – again, with much higher rents coming in.
The above-cited article notes that some landlords attempt to “weaponize the city’s housing courts,” taking tenants to court repeatedly “to wear them out with the intention of displacing them.”
That is patently unlawful behavior when driven by efforts to harass or intimidate renters. Lessees can fight back by securing help from a legal team having a demonstrated record of advocacy safeguarding the rights of tenants and fully promoting their interests.
Landlords have power, of course, but it is reasonably checked and subject to accountability in courts of law. Tenants can ensure it is by taking prompt and proactive action when necessary.