NYC To Publicly Shame Landlords Who Harass Tenants

There are few types of people on this planet more worthy of scorn than landlords who make life miserable — whether through threats, ignored repairs, or harassing letters and calls — for the tenants who pay them money every month. Just ask the many renters of New York City apartments whose landlords treat them poorly in the hopes that they will move out and be replaced by new tenants willing to pay higher rents. But the NYC City Council has passed a new bill that not only doubles the penalties for these scumbags, but publishes their names on a city website.

Gothamist reports that the new legislation doubles the maximum fine for tenant harassment to $10,000 per rental unit.

But that’s just chump change for some landlords, who can get away with charging extortionate rents for what would barely pass as closets in other parts of the country. So the city is planning to step things up, by publishing the names of the guilty, along with the addresses of the buildings at which the harassment occurred, on the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development website.

“While there are plenty of landlords across this city who do the right thing by their tenants, we know there are select, consistent bad actors that make life hard in a city where finding quality, affordable housing is a challenge,” said bill co-sponsor Councilman Jumaane Williams.

What the legislation doesn’t do is expedite the process of bringing a complaint against a landlord — a process that is so time-consuming that many tenants will just move out rather than pursue legal action.