Office of the Tenant Advocate

Construction can be noisy, dusty and disruptive. Living in a building that is undergoing renovation or construction can be difficult, but conditions should never be dangerous or present hazards to occupants. DOB works to help minimize the impact of construction on existing tenants through the Office of the Tenant Advocate (OTA)

OTA was established by Local Law 161 of 2017, to serve as a resource to tenants who are affected by work in occupied buildings. If your building is undergoing construction, you can contact OTA with, questions, comments, and complaints concerning the work being done in your building, a Tenant Protection Plan (TPP), tenant harassment, or other tenant-related issues. 

NOTE: Information and/or documents disclosed to the Department of Buildings, including to OTA, may not be confidential. Rather, such information may be disclosed by DOB to the extent required or permitted by law.

Tenant Harassment 

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. It is against the law to use construction to harass tenants. The Department has partnered with City and State agencies to combat tenant harassment

OTA developed the Know Your Rights: How to Counter Tenant Harassment webinar that covers the rights of tenants when construction is happening in their building. If you think your landlord has created a hazardous environment in your home, then this webinar is a must see. 

If you are being harassed by your landlord, information and help is available to you. Qualifying low-income or senior households may also be eligible for free legal assistance. If you believe your landlord is using construction as tool for harassment, file a complaint with OTA. OTA is here for you. 

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