Foreclosure Prevention

Harassment

Harassment
SHARE

OVERVIEW

Harassment by an owner is a course of action intended to force a tenant out of an apartment or to cause a tenant to give up rights granted under the Rent Stabilization Law or Rent Control Law. It is unlawful for an owner or anyone acting in the owner's interests to interfere with a tenant's right to privacy, comfort, or quiet enjoyment of their apartment. 

Interference includes reducing services or engaging in baseless court proceedings. The Rent Code Amendments of 2014 (RCA 2014) expanded such course of conduct to include the filing of false documents with or making false statements to DHCR.

Tenant Rights

What do I do if the owner is harassing me?
Harassment is a serious violation of your rights. If you believe you are a victim of harassment, you may file a tenant's statement of complaint RA60H with the Office of Rent Administration (ORA).

 

The owner wants to renovate the building where my apartment is located, and has asked me to temporarily relocate. The renovations are not compelled by an emergency situation. Must I relocate?

  • You do not have to relocate unless so ordered by ORA, another government agency, or a court.

Neighbor disturbance through noise and cigarette smoke issues

The noise and cigarette smoke from the apartment next to me is a constant disturbance. What are my rights?

  • You may contact the owner and ask for assistance, as most standard leases give you the right to the "peaceful possession" of the apartment.
  • You can also contact a local mediation center in order to pursue a mediated resolution with the neighboring tenant.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) How are tenants protected from harassment by owners?

Harassment by an owner is a course of conduct intended to force a tenant out of his/her apartment or to cause a tenant to give up rights granted to the tenant by the rent laws.

No owner or anyone acting on behalf of the owner or as the owner's agent may interfere with a tenant's privacy, comfort, or quiet enjoyment of the tenant's apartment. Interference includes reducing services or engaging in baseless court proceedings.

Harassment is a serious violation of a tenant's rights. If a tenant believes they are a victim of harassment, they can file form RA-60H, Tenant's Statement of Complaint(s) – Harassment, with DHCR. Upon a DHCR finding of harassment, a civil penalty may be imposed on the owner. For more information, see Fact Sheet #17.

 

2) The noise and cigarette smoke from the tenant in the apartment next to me is a constant disturbance. What are my rights?

Tenants can contact the owner and ask for assistance, as most standard leases give tenants the right to "peaceful possession" of the apartment.

Tenants can also contact a local mediation center in order to pursue a mediated resolution with the neighboring tenant.

 

3) An owner wants to renovate a building and asks the tenant to temporarily relocate. The renovations are not compelled by an emergency situation. Must the tenant relocate?

The tenant does not have to relocate, unless so ordered by DHCR, another government agency, or a court.

Fact Sheets

Forms