New Tenant Harassment Bill Signed
Last week, Governor Cuomo signed legislation (A.6188/S.2605) protecting rent-regulated tenants by preventing landlords from creating unsafe, disruptive or uninhabitable conditions in an effort to force tenants from their homes.
The previous law only provided protections to tenants who could demonstrate physical injury and did not take into account the conditions caused by the landlord. “Safe and affordable housing is a fundamental right, and we are proud to have enacted the most aggressive tenant protections in New York State history” Governor Cuomo stated.
According to the law, such a landlord is: guilty of harassment of a rent-regulated tenant in the second degree when, with the intent to induce a rent-regulated tenant to vacate a housing accommodation, such owner intentionally engages in a course of conduct that:
(1) Impairs the habitability of a housing accommodation;
(2) Creates or maintains a condition which endangers the safety or health of the dwelling’s tenant;
(3) Is reasonably likely to interfere with or disturb, and does interfere with or disturb, the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of such rent-regulated tenant in his or her use and occupancy of such housing accommodation including, but not limited to, the interruption or discontinuance of essential services.
A landlord engaging in such conduct against a single rent-regulated tenant will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor; where the conduct impacts two or more tenants, a landlord will be guilty of a Class E felony; a landlord guilty of multiple misdemeanor convictions under these new provisions within five years will be guilty of a Class E felony.
Advocates for landlords argue that this law, along with the landmark package of rent law reforms passed earlier this year, will make it more difficult for landlords in the state to maintain their properties.
Please contact us for more information on navigating the complex and ever-changing landlord-tenant law in New York State.
This is not intended to be legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.
He can be reached by phone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email.