The vast majority of people living in New York City are renters. This means that most people have rights as a tenant and landlords who must obey those rights. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. There are some unscrupulous landlords who engage in illegal practices – unlawful eviction is one example of these practices.
There are numerous resources out there to help tenants who are facing wrongful or unfair eviction. Most recently, an alliance of tenant rights advocacy groups released a list of the worst evictors in NYC.
Who are the worst offenders?
There report, which can be read in full here, calls out 20 landlords who have especially high eviction rates. It also calls out landlords who engage in harassment and discrimination of tenants.
Many landlords on that list (and others who may not be among the worst offenders) utilize unfair, bullying tactics to drive tenants out. They impose huge increases in rent, refuse to perform reasonable repairs and abuse Major Capital Improvement and Individual Apartment Increases systems. Some even issue fake eviction notices; most make widespread use of housing court.
What can tenants do?
Whether you rent from one of the landlords on the list or not, you have rights as a tenant when it comes to eviction. There are proper steps a landlord must take before evicting someone, and the law prohibits landlords from threatening tenants or denying essential services and repairs to try and get them to move out.
Further, new laws provide additional protection for tenants. For instance, the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 allows tenants to reverse evictions for non-payment by paying the money before the arrival of the city marshal. Tenants may also seek a stay of eviction for up to one year.
Additionally, under the new laws, unlawful evictions will result in misdemeanors and fines of up to $10,000 for a single violation.
With these and other protective measures in place, tenants should not be scared to stand up to a landlord engaging in unlawful practices. With the help of an attorney, individuals facing illegal actions or evictions can take appropriate action to defend their rights, their money and their homes.