Rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments are highly prized in New York City. These apartments allow tenants to pay less in rent than non-regulated apartments, and they provide renters with protections regarding services and lease offerings.
Unfortunately, they can also be the targets of harassment by landlords hoping to get the tenants out and bring in new tenants who may not be protected by the same rent regulation. One way they may do this it to use technology.
Surveillance cameras and other similar equipment can help tenants feel safe from intruders. However, some landlords exploit this technology to track their own tenants. They may use it to learn the person’s routine, so they know when the tenant may not be home or when would be the most inconvenient times for service interruptions or construction work.
Most people do not feel comfortable with someone tracking their comings and goings. And installing or utilizing surveillance equipment for these purposes could be landlord harassment.
Making unnecessary, cumbersome updates
Technology has the potential to make people’s lives easier, but that is not always the case. And it’s not the case for everyone.
In some cases, technological updates require tenants to adopt new habits or lifestyles with which they are uncomfortable. Earlier this year, for instance, four tenants in rent-regulated apartments successfully sued their landlord for installing keyless entry.
The new system required smartphones for entry instead of physical keys. It also allowed the landlord to monitor their movements and social media. The tenants argued that this was harassment and ultimately prevailed in getting their physical keys back.
Additionally, there could be situations involving system breaches, frequent or inconvenient updates or maintenance and other issues that landlords may use as a means of harassing tenants.
Technology can make life easier, but not everyone embraces or feels comfortable with every type of technology. This can be especially true when it is forced on people. If your landlord is using technology to try and get you out of your apartment or to harass you, you can talk to an attorney about your legal options.