City To Launch Special Office To Protect Tenants From Bad Landlords

January 11, 2019 - 5:06 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday provided more details about his plan to protect renters in New York City.

He says the new Office to Protect Tenants will be going after bad landlords with stiffer fines and penalties.

The penalties will be up to five times as harsh as they have been in the past. But, if landlords are found to violate the new guidelines, the city will begin to seize property.

“It’s very muscular and the idea is when we find out that tenants are being mistreated to send marshals, to send inspectors immediately to stop the immediate problem, issue the violations, bring the penalties to bare,” said Mayor de Blasio.

The new team will have a staff of five and a $450,000 budget, according to the mayor’s administration. It will also serve as a “central resource” for tenants and landlords.

Though, the mayor notes that more landlords do the right things already, and should not worry about having their property seized.

He says the threat of lost property “is going to have a massive psychological effect on the behavior of bad landlords.”

All seized buildings would be given to community non-profits.

The proposal will still need to be approved by the city council.