Here is news on a rally taking place today relate to tenants rights. As a realtor I often see abuses on both sides of the fence. For more on the rally and the proposed legislation please do see the press release sent. If you are a landlord or a tenant I would definitely take time to review the issues.
WHO: Council Members Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Council Members, Housing Advocates & Legal Service Providers
WHAT: Rally at Bronx Housing Court in Support of Tenant's Bill of Rights (New York City Council Int. 477)
WHEN: Tuesday, March. 20, 2012, 11:00AM
WHERE: Bronx Housing Court (outside the main entrance), 1118 Grand Concourse (East 165th Street), Bronx, NY
Bronx, New York - Tenants, City Council Members, housing advocates and legal service providers, will be rallying in front of the Bronx Housing Court on Tuesday, March 20, requesting action on the Tenants' Bill of Rights Law (Intro 477 from 2011). Speakers will testify about the urgent need for this bill's passage. The proposed legislation was introduced in in February of 2011 by Bronx Council Member Fernando Cabrera. Many City Council Members have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
The legislation is an important step in stopping the abuse of thousands of tenants every year who are unaware of their basic rights. If enacted, the law would require that a poster summarizing the basic rights of tenants be displayed prominently in the lobby of every New York City apartment building (where there are at least three units) and that this document is given to all tenants along with their leases. It explains the most crucial rights of tenants relating to matters such as evictions, repairs and services, and heat & hot water.
Our housing laws rely entirely on self-enforcement by tenants. In Housing Court, where nearly 300,000 eviction cases are filed every year, over 98% of landlords are represented by lawyers, whereas over 90% of tenants are not. There is no right to a lawyer in Housing Court, and the government does not provide free representation to low-income tenants who cannot afford a lawyer, despite that for many, eviction will lead to homelessness. While the borough is fourth in population, it is first in evictions, with so many cases filed against tenants that the eight-story building dedicated entirely to evictions and repair issues is often over-capacity.
The event is sponsored by the office of Council Member Fernando Cabrera, the bill's lead sponsor; the Metropolitan Council on Housing, which helped craft the legislation; and New Settlement Apartments’ Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), a housing organizing project supporting its passage, which is based in the South Bronx.