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NYC Comptroller Proposes A Tenant Bill Of Rights

An aerial view of Manhattan.

Landlords will have to provide residents with a Tenant Bill of Rights telling them about their legal rights at lease signings, if a new proposal from the comptroller comes to fruition.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s plan for the bill — which would outline 17 existing legal provisions protecting tenants — needs the support of at least one City Council member and Council Speaker Corey Johnson, The New York Daily News reports.

Both Stringer and Johnson are running for mayor of New York City in next year’s election. Those backing the plan say it would help renters understand the rent regulation changes introduced by the state last year.

“As rents skyrocket and tenants fight back against displacement, the city must empower renters with tools and resources to protect against unscrupulous landlords who may shirk their responsibilities to tenants,” Stringer said, according to the newspaper. “A Tenant Bill of Rights would enshrine key principles and protect tenants from abuse and neglect.”

A spokesperson for the council said it would review the bill if it is introduced, and a representative for Mayor Bill de Blasio would not state whether or not the current administration backs the idea.

Right now, it is prohibited to discriminate against tenants based on race, religion or if they plan to pay rent through subsidies. Landlords have an obligation to make sure the heat and hot water works and that apartments are repaired when needed.

Plus, this month, state regulators said tenants will no longer be charged the broker fee, unless they specifically hired a broker.

The real estate industry was outraged by the change, and took the issue to court this week. A temporary restraining order was issued Monday afternoon by a New York judge, after industry members filed an Article 78 petition. The matter will return to court on March 13.

Related Topics: NYC rents, Rent Regulations