tenants rights

Policy

Mayor Bill de Blasio announces findings on tenant representation last August. Image: nyc.gov

6sqft reported last year on a new bill that would guarantee a lawyer for all low-income residents facing eviction. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed that bill into law, guaranteeing legal representation for low-income residents who face eviction (h/t Citylab). The legislation is the nation’s first that provides right to counsel in housing matters. The new law is the result of efforts of activists and organizers that began in 2014.

Find out more about the new law

Policy

Whether you want to know or not, NYC landlords may soon be required to tell you of any past or current bedbug infestations in your building when you sign or renew a lease. As reported by the NY Post, a new city council bill would force landlords to file infestation histories with the Department of Housing and Preservation Development and to either publicly post them in the buildings or distribute them to tenants. The agency would also require all histories to be posted on their website.

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affordable housing, Policy

Mayor De Blasio, affordable housing, rent laws, 80/20, NYC Mayor, State of the City

In preparation for his State of the City address this evening at the Apollo, the Mayor announced two major affordable housing initiatives. The first will allocate $1.9 billion for 10,000 new apartments reserved for households earning less than $40,000, 5,000 of which will be set aside for seniors and 500 for veterans. The second implements a new Elder Rent Assistance program to provide 25,000 seniors with monthly rental assistance of up to $1,3000, to be funded by the city’s proposed Mansion Tax.

More details ahead

City Living, Policy

worst landlords list, letitia james, public advocate, tenants rights

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James released this year’s annual “Worst Landlords Watchlist” Thursday at a tenants’ rights rally in lower Manhattan. The interactive database lists the top 100 building owners who have racked up the most violations (like rats, roaches and dirty elevators, to name just a few) relative to the number of buildings they own. This data is gathered from the Department of Buildings and Department of Housing. Three of the city’s five worst landlords according to the list have been on it for two years in a row. The top three offenders–Harry D. Silverstein, Allan Goldman, and Efstathios Valiotis–own buildings throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Silverstein received 2,032 HPD violations and 50 DOB violations over 575 units in eight buildings.

Find out if your landlord is on the list

Policy

New bill would guarantee a lawyer for tenants facing eviction

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, September 27, 2016

The City Council held a hearing Monday on a bill that would guarantee lawyers for all low-income residents facing eviction. The New York Times reports that the bill, which has the support of an overwhelming majority of council members, would make New York City the country’s first jurisdiction to do so. Currently more than 70 percent of low-income tenants in New York City head to Housing Court without legal representation according to a recent report by the city’s Office of Civil Justice, while landlords are almost always represented by lawyers. This leaves tenants at a disadvantage from the start, say tenant advocates. Last year nearly 22,000 tenants were evicted from their homes across the city.

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