Legal Aid Praises Public Advocate for Legislation to Protect Tenants

Public Advocate Letitia James announced two pieces of legislation to protect tenants, saying that "too many New Yorkers across the five boroughs are languishing in decrepit apartments, and it is time to hold these negligent landlords accountable."

Ellen Davidson, Staff Attorney in the Law Reform Unit, appeared at the announcement and said that "all across the City over the last few years, landlords have been increasingly using construction abuse as a way to harass long term tenants out of their affordable homes. While long term tenants live in inhabitable conditions, landlords renovate vacated cleared out units to raise jack up rents and deregulate affordable apartments. Prohibiting landlords who fail to correct hazardous conditions from obtaining building permits is a fitting punishment. Additionally, forcing landlords to follow the law through an expanded use of the nuisance law is an important improvement to the current law. Both bills would provide added protections for tenants and would ensure that the New York City’s resources are properly utilized to enable so that tenants to live in safe and decent conditions."