Unfortunately, for some unscrupulous landlords in NYC harassing tenants out of their apartments is part of the business plan: once a tenant is driven out, a landlord can make significant renovations, or demolish and rebuild, and then dramatically raise rents.

This is why I was proud to lead the effort for an important new policy to protect tenants from the cycle of landlord harassment. The “Certification of No Harassment” (CONH) program is a strong new tool. The legislation will require covered building owners seeking to demolish or make significant alterations to their building to prove they have not engaged in harassment BEFORE they can get the permits they need from the NYC Department of Buildings. If a landlord is found to have harassed tenants, they would not be able to pull those permits for five years – unless they make a substantial portion of their building affordable to low-income families, with no public subsidy.

This legislation is the result of years of advocacy by groups including the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development and Fifth Avenue Committee — and then an extensive working group led by my office and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development that included building owners and managers, tenant advocates, legal service providers, and policy experts. It was one of the best combinations of advocacy and data/policy analysis that I’ve been part of. I believe it will make a real difference in the fight against tenant harassment.

You can read more about how the expanded CONH policy will work at bradlander.nyc/CONH.