Today, landlords in New York terminate tenant leases over a wide variety of reasons. Due to the changes in the political climate in the United States, it is becoming more and more common that tenants are threatened with eviction calls based on their immigration status. This post sets out to inform your rights as a tenant and what you can do if you face harassment from your landlord in relation to your immigration status.
What Does Tenant Harassment Constitute?
When your landlord wants to end your lease or refuse a lease renewal when you are a rent-regulated tenant, he or she might offer you a buyout. However, this can be done in a manner that constitute harassment such as giving you fake information about the buyout, or threaten you with violent language, or contacting you at your workplace without your permission.
If there are illegal lockouts and untimely eviction notices, these can also be considered as tenant harassment. Some landlords go as far as to refusing to repair utilities or even overcharge you for your apartment so as to drive you out of the property – which is also considered tenant harassment.
In fact, some landlords are even making calls to their tenants who might be undocumented immigrants, and making threats that they will be calling federal immigration officials to deport such tenants. Tenant harassment is not just a sad incident but it is illegal in New York. Tenants should not have to fear deportation threats made by landlords. Remember, the federal government makes no distinction between an illegal or legal immigrant, so renting to a foreign national is subject to the same standards as renting to an American citizen. All in all, in New York, forcing tenants to leave their apartments is illegal.
What Can Tenants Do To Fight Back?
As a tenant in New York, you do not have to feel despondent when you are facing harassment from your landlord. There are a number of solutions you have at your disposal to fight the harassment and protect your rights as a tenant. Here is a list of actions you can consider.
Get Educated About Your Rights As A Tenant
By knowing your rights as a tenant in New York, you will able to know whether your landlord is performing harassment. Even if you are an undocumented immigrant, any attempt by your landlord to end your lease before the agreed date is illegal. You can read up and arm yourself with knowledge so that you can combat such bullying acts by your landlord.
Filing A Complaint
If you are sure that you are a victim of tenant harassment, you can easily file a complaint through the New Americans Hotline or fill up the form on the Attorney General’s website. Once a complaint has made against a landlord, investigation will then begin.
Getting Help From A Lawyer
By contacting a lawyer, you will get a professional who will be acting in your best interests. As a tenant, you can hold your landlord responsible for tenant harassment. With a lawyer by your side, he or she will be able to review your case and explain your options clearly so that you can hold your landlord accountable. If you need help regarding real estate law, talk to our legal team today. Remember, you don’t have to be bullied out of your apartment because of your immigration status in New York!