We know that there are rent regulated tenants in New York, and we know that their rents are considerably less − especially in this obscene real estate market − than market value.
We also know that there are a lot of people who would be forced out of the city if they lost their apartments.
And we know there are landlords who do everything they can to harass these tenants and drive them out.
Well, things are getter tenser for these virtual slum lords: Settlement in Investigation of Brooklyn Landlord Over Rent-Regulated Units – NYTimes.com. which begins:
Officials at New York State’s Tenant Protection Unit said they have reached a settlement with a Brooklyn landlord accused of harassing longtime residents to clear the way for higher-paying tenants.
The accusations against the landlord, Yeshaya Wasserman, involved alleged practices in eight rent-regulated properties with 181 apartments in Flatbush and Crown Heights. The state investigation targeted practices that tenant advocates say have become more commonplace in fast-changing neighborhoods where the market now can demand rents many times higher than those paid by long-term residents.
Some of Mr. Wasserman’s tenants have lived in their apartments for more than 20 years and pay less than $1,000 for three-bedroom units, said representatives of the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, which aided the state investigation. Some tenants complained that the landlord did not cash their rent checks, a tactic that officials said relies on the expectation that tenants will not have the money to pay the back rent when it is finally demanded of them. Other tenants said the landlord cut off heat and hot water or took them to housing court on frivolous charges.
In this article there are some suggestions for you, if you are rent regulated and are being harassed by your landlord. One is that there exists a New York State Tenant Protection Unit. You’ll find contact information in that link. Here’s one piece of reassuring information I just grabbed from the web site:
In 2012, to increase compliance with these laws and further protect rent-regulated tenants, Governor Cuomo created the Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) to act as a proactive law enforcement office within New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The TPU preserves affordable housing by detecting and curtailing patterns and practices of landlord fraud and harassment through audits, investigations, and impactful legal actions. The TPU also encourages compliance by informing tenants and owners of their rights and responsibilities under the rent regulation laws.
And remember: whatever your landlord does to you, if you’re rent regulated and pay your rent (even if he refuses to accept your checks), you are in the right and he is wrong, and the laws and courts are on your side.