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Retaliatory evictions and tenant rights

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Landlord/Tenant

Rental units in New York have always come at a premium price. Tenants fortunate enough to sublet in a rent-controlled unit typically just keep their heads down and pay their rent on time. Sometimes, however, Brooklyn tenants have a legitimate complaint. In cases where tenants are within their legal rights to file a complaint but are consequently evicted, landlords may be liable.

Landlord/tenant disputes

No relationship between a landlord and their tenant is perfect. Both sides have a vested interest in a piece of real property. The landlord generally comes from a perspective of protecting their investment. Tenants may have valuable contents within that property, but their interest is largely focused on safe and adequate shelter.

Valid complaints from a tenant that affect the quality of living conditions may include:

  1. Rodent infestation
  2. Presence of mold
  3. Lack of heat
  4. Lack of water
  5. Faulty electrical wiring

Any of these circumstances could present cause for a tenant to file a formal complaint with their landlord or property management company. When proper procedure is followed, this process is expected to flow smoothly. In New York, there are specific regulations in place that govern landlord-tenant relationships.

Tenant dispute processes

Tenants have a right to basic necessities. These standard rights include a living space free of hazardous conditions. If one or more of these potentially unsafe conditions arise, a renter may choose to take legal action. This real estate dispute escalation should be a point of last resort but is available to renters. Legal help is available for tenants who want to go this route but are concerned about retaliatory evictions.

The first step is to discuss concerns directly with the landlord or property manager. A verbal notice is acceptable for the first interaction and should be confirmed in writing soon after the initial conversation. Rent courts offer a probate solution for escalated disputes. Tenants may choose to put their rental payments in escrow rather than making payments directly to their landlord.