New Law Lets Tenants Sue Over Harassment, New York Times - March 14, 2008
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed a bill into law on 3/13/08 that for the first time gives tenants the right to sue their landlords in Housing Court for using threats and other forms of harassment to force them out. To read the full article, go to NewYorkTimes.com
Bloomberg Signs Tenant Protection Act, Columbia Spectator - March 23, 2008
After more than a year of lobbying by tenants and tenant advocates, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an anti-landlord harassment bill into law on March 13, 2008. The bill, called Intro 627-A, was proposed by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in her 2007 State of the City address, passed City Council on Feb. 28. The signing of the bill is a huge victory for tenants who have been affected by a citywide trend of landlords pushing out affordable-housing renters in favor of higher-paying tourists and short-term tenants. To read the full article, go to ColumbiaSpectator.com
If you believe you are a victim of harassment and want to file a complaint, begin by downloading Form RA-60H from DHCR's website.
The following is an excerpt from the DHCR's website
Harassment by an owner is a course of action intended to force a tenant out of his/her apartment or to cause a tenant to give up rights granted to the tenant by the Rent Laws.
No owner or anyone acting on behalf of the owner or as the owner's agent may interfere with a tenant's privacy, comfort or quiet enjoyment of the tenant's apartment. Interference includes reducing services or engaging in baseless court proceedings.
Harassment is a serious violation of a tenant's rights. If a tenant believes they are a victim of harassment, they can file a Tenant's Statement of Complaint(s)-Harassment with DHCR. Upon a DHCR finding of harassment, a civil penalty may be imposed on the owner.
The following is an excerpt from New York State Tenant Protection Law by Associated Content, December 2005
A landlord, or property manager, does not have the right to change locks or stop you from retrieving your possessions at the rental property. Landlords in New York State who use illegal methods to get a tenant to leave a rented residence can be criminally charged in court, or be fined civil penalties.