NY Times: Bills Aim to Protect Renters During Construction Work

By Mireya Navarro

September 29, 2015

New York City Council members will introduce a package of bills on Wednesday intended to prevent landlords from pressuring tenants to move out by making their apartments unlivable through construction work.

The proposed legislation, a total of a dozen bills, follows accounts of residents’ enduring late-night noise, harmful levels of dust and damage to their apartments, which some of the tenants said were efforts to get them to leave their rent-stabilized apartments. Landlords are supposed to provide tenant-protection plans when they do renovations in occupied buildings. But in many cases, the landlords tell the city that their buildings are vacant, and the city grants the construction permits without verifying the claims.

The bills seek to have the city’s Buildings Department play a more aggressive role by responding to construction complaints faster and increasing inspections to confirm landlords’ compliance with safety requirements...

Council members sponsoring the bills are Margaret Chin, Rafael Espinal, Daniel R. Garodnick, Corey Johnson, Ben J. Kallos, Mark Levine, Carlos Menchaca, Rosie Mendez, Antonio Reynoso and Helen Rosenthal, all Democrats.

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