You have a right under the NYC Human Rights Law and other Fair Housing Laws to protest discriminatory acts against you by filing a complaint. If the person with the authority to rent, sell, or deal with applicants or residents of a housing accommodation that you filed a claim against takes harmful actions against you because you filed the complaint or because you served as a witness or assisted another with their complaint, they are engaging in retaliation.
It is illegal for anyone to threaten, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or anyone assisting others who exercise that right:
These behaviors or actions could be evidence of retaliation:
- Coercing a person orally, in writing, or by any other means, to deny or limit the benefits they would receive in connection with the sale or rental of housing;
- Taking revenge with harmful actions against a person who has complained, testified, or assisted in any action regarding a fair housing complaint to punish them for filing the complaint.
Even if the original allegation turns out to be unsupported, a retaliation complaint may be supported. Some examples of retaliation could include:
- Resident complains to the manager that she received a 10-day notice because of her race. The manager gets angry and gives her an eviction notice.
- After a resident was a witness in a complaint investigation, the manager tells her he is ‘keeping an eye on her.’