New York City landlords will face up to $5,000 in fines if they are found to be illegally harassing tenants under a package of tenant-protection bills signed into law Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The new set of laws increases the minimum harassment fine levied on landlords from $1,000 to $2,000, and increases the penalty to $5,000 for landlords already cited for tenant harassment in the past five years. The measures also expand the city’s definition of tenant harassment to include calls and visits by the landlord at “unusual hours.”
The bills also look to prevent landlords from prolonging construction and demolition projects in an effort to pressure tenants out of their apartments. The city’s Department of Buildings will issue completion deadlines when landlords seek building permits for projects in occupied buildings, and will increase its inspection of construction and demolition projects in occupied buildings.