A new bill introduced by City Councilman Brad Lander, will require landlords, who wish to alter or demolish their residential building, to obtain certificates of non harassment from every tenant of affordable or rent stabilized units. Once the certificates are obtained, the Department of Buildings will determine whether to approve or disprove a permit for the project.
The Mayors’ administration is currently working on ways to make this requirement less broad “as not to drape a blanket policy over all landlords”. The administration says they will target landlords who have a history or harassment or buildings where there is some reason to be suspicious or some indication that harassment has occurred.
The intention of this bill is said to protect tenants with low or moderate income from building owners who are looking to evict these tenants in order to attract wealthier clientele to their building. This certificate of no harassment currently applies only to Single Room Occupancy tenants.
Landlords with a history of tenant harassment would only be able to get permits for renovations from the Department of Buildings if they agreed to set aside a portion of the building as affordable housing.