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TenantNet Forum Archives 1996-2002
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Re: Harassment: does it carry a prison term now (1997 Reform)?

Posted by TenantNet on July 30, 1997 at 12:18:35:

In Reply to: Harassment: does it carry a prison term now (1997 Reform)? posted by Scott Bowman on July 29, 1997 at 15:16:23:

: I have had no luck finding out (officialy) if Building Owner harassment of
: a tenant carries possible imprisonment.
: The Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997 states that a fine of $1000-$5000
: can be imposed on a Building Owner (or superintendent collecting rent for
: the owner) if they harass a tenant with intent to cause the tenant to
: vacate the housing accomodation. I had heard rumors of possible
: imprisonment with that but can't seem to confirm it officially.
: Can someone give me an 'official confirmation' amswering this dilemma
: (that the above CAN or CANNOT be imprisoned as per such and such law)?

Don't put much (if any) faith in these new provisions. There have been
similar provisions on the books for years and they've gone unenforced.
This was all a public relations ploy by Pataki and Silver. The amount of
time landlords have been imprisoned can be counted on one hand with
two fingers cut off. One (of several) problems is how can you prove
"intent" unless you have a video tape of the owner actually doing
something and where he admits he is "intending" to get the tenant out.
Some actions should be obvious as to owner's intentions, but the
real world is that the politicans, DHCR and the courts virtually
never enforce these statutes.

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