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New Law Would Crack Down on Tenant Harassment, Put Slumlords in Jail

Renters, rejoice!

A new bill meant to hold New York landlords criminally accountable for harassing tenants was introduced today by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

It’s no secret that some landlords are less than easy to deal with. Because of high population and demand, New York City is a landlord’s playground. As a result, tenants are sometimes taken advantage of and suffer in shoddy living conditions.

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As Vote Looms, Tenants Ask Rent Guidelines Board to Give Them a Break

RGB public hearing attendees protest embattled landlord Steven Croman. (Photo: Karissa Gall)

RGB public hearing attendees protest embattled landlord Steven Croman. (Photo: Karissa Gall)

How many landlords does it take to change a lightbulb? Metropolitan Council on Housing volunteer Mary Crosby posed the rhetorical question to members of the Rent Guidelines Board at last night’s public hearing at Cooper Union. “None, because everyone knows landlords don’t do repairs anymore,” she said. Here’s another one for you: how many owners does it take to change a lightbulb? You’ll never guess… it’s also “none,” she said, “because the owners have removed the light sockets during an eviction.”

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East Village Tenants Say ‘Enough Is Enough’ to Alleged Predatory Landlord

Karen Platt's East Village building, 522 East 5th Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Karen Platt’s East Village building, 522 East 5th Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Karen Platt has been channeling her frustrations through the satisfying scrape of chalk across concrete. After years of living with dust, noise, and health hazards caused by construction, repeated and seemingly relentless service cut-offs, and what she says are intentional moves by her landlord to clear her (and other rent-regulated tenants like her) out of her longtime home at 522 East 5th Street in the East Village, Platt’s sidewalk messages reveal she has reached a breaking point: “Lack of services is harassment” and “Enough is Enough.”

As Platt explained to B+B, since Icon Realty Management bought her building, things took a turn for the miserable. “I’ve lived in New York my whole life and I’ve never, ever been treated like this,” she said.

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Rent Guidelines Board Votes For Historic Rent Freeze; ‘Right Call,’ Says De Blasio

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Nearly two hours after the Rent Guidelines Board was scheduled to vote on whether more than 1.2 million New Yorkers would be required to pay more for their rent-regulated apartments, the board made a historical decision to freeze rent increases for one-year leases. Amidst intermittent boos and cheers, the board’s chair, Rachel Godsil, announced that for the first time ever one-year leases would see a zero percent increase in rent, while two-year leases would be subject to a 2 percent increase.

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