Stand for Tenant Safety is a coalition we are part of with other tenant organizations from all over the city to fight for to END CONSTRUCTION AS HARASSMENT! Construction as harassment is when your landlord makes excessive noise, disorder, or hazardous living conditions through construction TO FORCE YOU OUT OF YOUR RENT-REGULATED APARTMENT.
Who We Are
We are a coalition of tenant advocacy organizations fighting to secure safe housing for all tenants!
Tenant safety, especially against CONSTRUCTION AS HARASSMENT! Construction as harassment is when your landlord makes excessive noise, disorder, or hazardous living conditions through construction TO FORCE YOU OUT OF YOUR RENT-REGULATED APARTMENT.
By forcing you out of your rent-regulated apartment, landlords can collect vacancy bonuses by raising the prior rent by up to 20% for the next tenant, and conduct gut rehabs, or IAIs, during the vacancy which do not require tenant approval and are permanent increases to the rent!
This can be constant construction in the morning and nights, work without permits, work that disrupts your gas, water, or electricity, and work that leads to dust, lead, and other dangerous toxins in the air!
Because the city cannot put liens on apartment buildings, landlords are not afraid to ignore their ECB fines, meaning the city is UNABLE to actually enforce penalties!
Furthermore, too many processes and applications are NOT TRANSPARENT! Because landlords fill out paperwork and applications without tenant knowledge and oversight, tenants cannot hold landlords accountable for their lies and abuses! For example, many landlords claim a building is unoccupied, allowing them to conduct certain construction projects, even though tenants are still living there!
Lastly, we fight for tenant’s safety because even when the city issues a vacate order to move tenants out of unlivable housing, the city DOES NOT issue correction orders to the landlord to actually FIX these issues!
How YOU can join our fight?
We are currently working to get 12 BILLS passed to correct these systemic flaws and empower tenants to stand up to their landlords! You can help advocate for these bills, join our rallies and call-ins, speak to your city council member, and help organize other tenants to stand up for tenant safety!
We also encourage you to ORGANIZE with us! By organizing with us, we can make sure that yours and every other tenant’s stories and concerns are heard by city council members, tenant advocacy organizations, and other tenants! Moreover, by volunteering with our tenant’s rights hotline, you can help inform other tenants of their rights as they fight landlords using construction as harassment!
Our 12 Bills
- Int 0918-2015: Requires DOB inspection rather than self-certification for buildings with plans for significant amounts of construction or a history of tenant harassment.
- Int 0924-2015: Requires DOB to issue orders to correct concurrently with vacate orders.
- Int 0926-2015: Creates greater interagency communication between the DOB, HPD, DOH, and DEP with an interagency task force of 13 members
- Int 0930-2015: Allows the city to put liens on apartment buildings if they fail to pay their ECB fines:
- 20< Units with $60,000 ECB fines, and for 6-19 Units with $15,000 ECB fines
- Int 0931-2015: Incentivizes payment of fines by allowing the city to initiate foreclosure proceedings against the buildings described in Int 0930-2015 as “distressed buildings”
- Int 0934-2015: Creates a Real Time Enforcement Unit within the DOB to respond to emergency-level conditions.
- Int 0936-2015: Strengthens the TPP by including information about the maintenance of essential services during construction, TPP to be made publically available on the DOB website, and posted in public places in the building. Lastly, the DOB must inspect building within 7 days to ensure compliance with the TPP, the DOB must issue a stop work order for a violation
- Int 0938-2015: Creates a watch list of contractors who have performed work without a required permit within the preceding 2 years. The DOB will perform one or more inspections on contractors on the watch list to ensure the legal application of the law. The contractor can be removed from the watch list after 2 years of proper work
- Int 0939-2015: To make penalties actual deterrents, fines will be increased, even for partial work without permits to 8x the amount of the fee payable for the permit for 1 or 2 family dwellings, with a new minimum penalty for doing partial work without a permit will set to $1000. Other than 1 or 2 family homes, the penalties will be 28x the fee payable, and the new minimum penalty will be increased to $10,000.
- Int 0940-2015: Fines for working with an active stop work order will increase to $10,000 for the first violation, and to $20,000 for each subsequent violation
- Int 0944-2015: Requires construction work permits on DOB’s website to disclose the reported occupancy status of the building and requires landlords who have done work without a permit to submit their future construction plans to their borough president, council member, and community board.
- Int 0960-2015: Landlords must post a “Safe Construction Bill of Rights” in at least English AND Spanish, and at least 14 days PRIOR to the start of construction work. Additionally, this information MUST be posted on every floor of the building:
- Description of the work being performed and its potential impact on tenants
- Hours of construction
- Timeline for the completion of the work
- Services offered to the tenants that might be affected (e.g. loss of hot water) and mitigation measurements the landlord is using to protect the tenants
- Who to contact at the landlord’s office if there is a problem, (24 hours a day)
- Who to complain to in the City if the tenant is concerned about the work being performed