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Cuomo expands definition of tenant harassment

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Office of the Governor)

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law yesterday expanding the definition of tenant harassment. Previously, tenants were forced to have been physically hurt by their landlords’ actions to prove harassment. 

  • New definition of harassment: Landlords are prohibited from creating “unsafe, disruptive, or uninhabitable conditions” to push tenants out of their apartments. This includes turning off the heat in the cold, exposing tenants to hazardous materials, and conducting unsafe construction, Patch noted.
  • Dig Deeper: Attorney General Letitia James backed the bill, which also increases the punishment for landlords who try to force out multiple rent-regulated tenants, according to TRD. A landlord forcing out one tenant can be found guilty of a misdemeanor, while multiple convictions within five years could result in felony charges.

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