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Are tenant protection laws toothless?

Posted by TenantNet on May 27, 1996 at 09:03:36:

We recently received the following message from a NYC tenant:

"I'm all for tenant advocacy and power to "ordinary" people. But I have had
a hellish year, thanks to a very practiced manipulator of NYC courts.
Discussing things with TenantNet helped somewhat last Fall, when I first
learned of the landlord's fraud. But now, further into the nightmare (and
with no end to it in sight), I wonder if any of the city's tenant
"protection" laws are worth the paper/bandwidth they occupy. I'd prefer to
think organization and joint effort by tenants and their advocates could
amount to more than "virtual" power, but without enforcement, what's the
use of knowing the law? From my perspective, in the thick of a real-life,
real obsessional landlord's scam, New York tenant-protection laws look

This brings up a point we hear OVER AND OVER AGAIN. This tenant expressed
the idea very well - every day we hear similar sentiments from New York tenants
(as well as from other areas) that with all the crazy, hard-to-understand
"tenant protection" laws in place, what is the point unless they do some
good? Why is it that landlords can manipilate DHCR and the courts to take
sometimes more than ten years to solve problems? How manny tenants have the
resources to hire an attorney to litigate for that length of time? Why is it
that DHCR and HPD absolutely refuse to enforce their own orders? Even though
we've spent a lot of time putting the material on TenantNet, we recognize
that much of it is meaningless unless it works.

What's your opinion? Follow Ups:

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