Last updated by at .

New Law Grants Tenants Greater Protection from Gentrification

Mayor de Blasio recently passed a law that would grant greater protection to tenants and prevent landlords from forcing them to move out of rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments.

The law is designed to prevent landlords from forcing tenants to move from rent controlled and stabilized apartments so that landlords can then re-rent the apartments and charge higher rents.  Violation of the new law will result in significant fines.  Landlords may face penalties for a first time offense ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for engaging in prohibited tactics in an attempt to get tenants to vacate.  Fines up to $20,000 may be imposed for additional violations.

The new law provides that:

  • Landlords may not make a buyout offer within 180 days of a tenant refusing an offer;
  • Landlords may not threaten tenants;
  • Landlords may not contact tenants at unusual hours;
  • Landlords may not induce tenants to move out by providing false information;
  • Landlords must inform tenants that they may remain in their apartment;
  • Landlords are also required to inform the tenants that they may wish to get advice from an attorney;

No tenant should have to live in fear that they will be thrown out of their home, or be retaliated against for refusing to move out.  If you feel that your rights as a tenant have been violated, contact the skilled New York City landlord-tenant attorneys at the Law Office of Tanya Hobson-Williams. Please contact us online, toll free (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744 to discuss your rights as a tenant and the solutions available to you.

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program

Tanya Hobson-Williams, NY AttorneyNew York City rental prices seem to continue to rise without any foreseeable decline.  As a result, reasonably priced housing has become a coveted treasure city-wide.

However, through the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program (SCRIE) renters who are 62 or older with yearly incomes below $50,000 may be eligible for exemption from all or some increases in rents, carrying charges, capital assessment or voluntary capital contributions.

Recent changes to the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) has expanded eligibility by increasing the maximum annual income to $50,000 from $29,000.

Lawmakers speculate that in the next ten years, New York City will see a 30% increase in the senior adult population. They further point out that New York City is home to the highest number of foreign-born senior citizens in the nation. As a result, more low-income seniors are seeking an affordable place to retire. Continue reading “Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program”

Attorney General Focuses on Landlord-Tenant Harassment Claim

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsNew York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into the allegedly illegal tactics used to force rent-stabilized tenants out of their homes implemented by multi-million dollar landlord, Steven Croman.

According to reports, the Attorney General is investigating potential violations of city and state laws, including numerous infractions related to tenant harassment.

This week Schneiderman issued a “cease and desist” order to one of Cromans employees, ex-NYPD officer Anthony Falconite.  Tenants allege that Falconite, a private investigator, has engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation in an effort to force them out.

According to recounts by numerous tenants, Croman regularly files frivolous lawsuits, ignores repairs, and resorts to a number of unsavory tactics in an effort to remove current tenants so that he can rent units at much higher rates. Continue reading “Attorney General Focuses on Landlord-Tenant Harassment Claim”

Discrimination Against Tenants in Brooklyn

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsTenants in Brooklyn, New York are claiming their landlord is discriminating against them and trying to force them out of their rent-controlled apartment. African American tenants of Homewood Gardens Estates in the Prospect Lefferts Garden neighborhood have filed a federal lawsuit against the complex and owner Yeshaya Wasserman. They allege the landlord failed to make repairs and seldom cashed rent checks in a scheme to evict them from their rent-controlled apartments. Residents claim white and Asian tenants don’t face the same treatment

“He fails routinely to cash rent checks and then turns around and sues plaintiffs for allegedly not paying their rent,” attorney for the residents, Pavita Krishnaswamy said. One woman who’s lived at the apartment complex for over 14 years said she’s gone without hot water for over a week and the landlord barely ever responded to her countless repair requests over the years. Continue reading “Discrimination Against Tenants in Brooklyn”

New Bill Targets Landlord Mistreatment of Senior Citizens

Tanya Hobson-Williams

It is estimated that over 45 percent of New York’s senior citizens have been in their homes for decades. Most of these seniors are housed in rent-regulated apartments and recently, it has come to light that many landlords have engaged in unfair and cruel practices in an attempt to get rid of long-term tenants and make more money. The claims of such mistreatment of senior citizens began to multiply in 2013 and as a result a bill has been introduced in the New York City Council that will increase penalties of such behavior and hopefully send a message to the landlords of New York City.

The bill, which was introduced early in 2014, sets to double the maximum civil penalty to $10,000 for property owners who abuse seniors. The legislation would also place such property owners on a black list maintained by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Continue reading “New Bill Targets Landlord Mistreatment of Senior Citizens”

Gov. Cuomo Ensures Fair Immigrant Housing for Renters

Tanya Hobson-Williams

Earlier this January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he has ended the reported harassment and intimidation of mainly Spanish-speaking immigrant tenants in nearly 1,800 apartments by reaching a settlement with Castellan Real Estate Partners/Liberty Place Property Management. The official agreement is between the New York State’s Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) and the real estate company which owns nearly 49 buildings in Harlem, Washington Heights, Brooklyn and the South Bronx — the sites of the alleged mistreatment.

The allegations against Castellan, that led the TPU to open its investigation earlier this year, included failure to provide renewal leases; false fees on individuals’ rent statements when tenants have payment receipts; and requesting tenants provide documents proving income or Social Security numbers to determine citizenship status, all of which are illegal to do to existing leaseholders. Continue reading “Gov. Cuomo Ensures Fair Immigrant Housing for Renters”