If you believe that the owner of your building is withholding essential services or not making repairs to force you to move out of your apartment, contact HPD's Anti-Harassment Unit (AHU) by calling 311.
It is illegal for building owners to force tenants to leave their apartments or surrender their rights. If you are a tenant in a rental unit in the City who is being harassed by your property owner, you can get information and help. If you are a low-income tenant and/or a senior, you may be eligible for free legal assistance.
Harassment is any act or omission by or on behalf of an owner that causes or is intended to cause a tenant to surrender or waive any rights in relation to the occupancy of their unit.
Tenants can initiate an action in Housing Court based on a claim of harassment.
Free legal assistance is available to low-income tenants who are being harassed by property owners. You can call the following legal service providers for more information:
Learn more about Legal Assistance.
A property owner's failure to correct dangerous conditions and/or frequent disruptions of or failure to supply water, heat, gas, or electric service may constitute harassment. HPD's Anti-Harassment Unit (AHU) receives referrals from the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) to investigate when allegations of harassment involve a property owner's failure to correct dangerous conditions and/or frequent disruptions of or failure to supply water, heat, gas, or electric service, actions which may constitute harassment. If you believe that the owner of your building is withholding essential services or not making repairs to force you to move out of your apartment, contact the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) by calling 311.
HPD also performs joint inspections of buildings with multiple City and State agencies through the Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force (THPT).
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I reported maintenance conditions to my property owner and received no response. The property owner is not making repairs, and I believe they want me to move out. Is this harassment?
Yes, under the NYC Housing Maintenance Code, a property owner’s failure to correct dangerous conditions and/or frequent disruptions of water supply, heat, gas or electric service may be harassment. File all complaints with 311 and make sure to say that you believe you are being harassed. You can use violations issued to support a Housing Court case against your property owner.
You may also make a harassment claim in Housing Court. Housing Court Answers (HCA) provides information about Housing Court procedures, property owner-tenant issues, enforcement of housing code, and referrals for free legal help and community organizations for advice and possible representation. HCA is present in each borough’s Housing Court. Call their hotline at 212-962-4795, Tuesday-Thursday, 9am-5pm.
There’s construction in my building, and I don’t feel safe. What should I do?
When there is construction in a building, property owners are required to post a Tenant Protection Plan and the Safe Construction Bill of Rights in a common area of the building until construction is completed or distribute both to tenants. If you did not receive the documents and do not see them posted, call 311. Read the Safe Construction Bill of Rights. If there is excessive dust and debris, unsafe work practices, working after hours, or blocking entrances, file a complaint with 311 and/or contact the Department of Building’s Office of the Tenant Advocate at 212-393-2949 or TenantAdvocate@buildings.nyc.gov. For more information on illegal or unsafe construction, please visit nyc.gov/dob.
I feel that the owner, super, or other owner representative is trying to get me to leave. What can I do?
Some behaviors by these individuals are defined as harassment. For example:
Tenants can report threats and discrimination by contacting 311 or the NYC Commission on Human Rights at 718-722-3131.
If tenants are threatened based on their immigration status, they can contact the NYS Immigration Hotline at 800-566-7636.
You may also qualify for free legal services. See the section above under the Seek Legal Assistance heading.
My property owner is threatening to evict me. Is this harassment?
Yes, this could be harassment if there is no basis (such as failure to pay rent) for the eviction. Illegal eviction or attempts to illegally evict, including removing the door or lock to an occupied unit or changing the lock on the door without supplying a key is also harassment.
If your property owner has locked you out of your apartment, you can contact the NYPD or report the property owner to your local precinct.
If you already received an eviction notice, you can visit evictionfreenyc.org for guidance on how to respond and access legal services.
If you are facing eviction because you are having trouble paying rent, call 311 for a referral to HomeBase, which connects tenants to eviction-related services and rent assistance.
My property owner has repeatedly offered me money to leave my apartment. What should I do?
HPD recommends that you do not sign any documents/agreements without seeking legal assistance. Tenants can reject buyout offers and continue to live in their home. You can also advise your property owner in writing that you do not want to be contacted regarding any buyout offer. The property owner is required to not contact you for 180 days unless you write at an earlier time that you are interested in discussing a buyout or unless the court permits the property owner to discuss a buyout offer with you.
My property owner doesn’t want to renew my lease. Who can I contact?
If you are paying rent and there are no other related issues, you can obtain assistance from legal service providers by dialing 311. If you’re behind on rent and facing eviction, call 311 to locate your nearest HomeBase.
If you have a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized lease, and your property owner is refusing to renew or is charging more than the legal rent, you can contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR) at 866-275-3427, or file a harassment claim by visiting hcr.ny.gov.
If you’re not sure if your home is rent-stabilized, call NYSHCR at 718-739-6400.
How can I find out if any of my current or former neighbors reported harassment?
HPD posts on its website the addresses of buildings where a finding of harassment has been made by a court, when the agency receives the information. You can find it at HPD Online.
I’m experiencing more than one issue. Who should I contact?
In addition to specific issues as previously described, you can take the following steps:
How can I receive legal assistance if I’m not able to afford it?
Free legal assistance is available to low-income tenants who are being harassed. You can call the following legal service providers for information: