NYC Housing

Housing Laws Force Residents From Their Home

New York City is home to over 8-and-a-half million people, and that population is growing steadily. Brooklyn, NYC’s most-populous borough, houses over 2.5 million residents. But what of the housing? Burgeoning populations come with great responsibilities. Cities must adhere to certain legal obligations, and provide adequately accommodated and structurally sound housing for its citizens.

Failing to operate within the parameters of the law can mean trouble for any architects, overseers, city planners, landlords or property-owners of any kind looking to skirt the rules in the name of corner-cutting or profit-seeking. If you believe that you or your family is being put at risk, due to the negligent or malfeasant behavior of your landlord or property owner, you reserve the right to take legal action in order to improve your living environment. If you believe that you’re being unfairly charged for housing, it may be within your rights to sue for fairer treatment. Below, we’ll take a look at the story of one family caught in the sometimes perilous maelstrom of New York City housing, and what you can do to rectify problems if you’ve been caught in an unjust situation.


Ousted Tenants Seek Answers

Najary Torres lived in a ground floor, one-bedroom apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with her three young daughters. The operative word in this sentence being: lived, past-tense. When a strange structure began sprouting up behind Ms. Torres’ apartment building, she was only concerned about the multitude of construction workers that began to populate her backyard, worried that their sometimes off-color behavior would have a negative impact on her little girls.

Little did she know that this would be the least of her problems.

As the mysterious wall began to grow, so too did her suspicions. As the structure began to occlude the light that had previously filled her windows, Ms. Torres realized it was time to take action. Speaking little English herself, she enlisted the help of her mother-in-law when contacting authorities. They called 311, hoping to have this wall-manufacturing mystery cleared up for them.

However, when authorities arrived, they flipped the script on Ms. Torres and her neighbors, implying that the wall in the backyard was somehow their fault, and insisting they vacate the premises immediately. Citing fire safety bylaws as the reason, Ms. Torres and all fellow residents were forced to leave, given barely any time to gather their belongings before being ushered into the street. Some residents had loved ones with whom they could move in with, but others weren’t so fortunate. Some were forced into more expensive, less convenient living situations, while others, Ms. Torres and her three daughters included, were left with no other recourse than the local homeless shelter.

As their building sinks further and further into disrepair, Ms. Torres remains on the outside looking in, a victim of unfortunate circumstance.

This story represents a problem faced by many of New York City’s less powerful residents- that of being forced from their homes against their will by higher authorities. Most of the time, housing laws are in place to preserve the safety of New York City residents. Sometimes, however, even acting with the best interest of residents in minds forces the hand of government agencies, and winds up displacing honest families from their homes. When this happens, it becomes necessary for these citizens to strike back. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we can help teach you what you can do to protect your rights.


What Can I Do?

To avoid finding yourself ensnared in a similarly unsafe and unsound living condition, it’s of paramount importance that you thoroughly inspect both your unit and the property it lays on. Read through, or have someone knowledgeable of the law, read the entirety of your rental agreement for you before moving in. Make sure that you know what your superintendent and landlord expect from you as a tenant and what you can expect from them. Make sure you’re aware of the extent of their responsibilities as it concerns repairs, maintenance and upkeep. Also make certain that a concrete payment schedule has been confirmed so as to avoid any confusion in future months. Try and inform yourself of local housing laws. This way, if you believe an infraction has been committed by your landlord or you’ve otherwise been subject to unlawful practices, you will know when and how to address the problem at hand.


Kaplan Lawyers PC

Has your family been the victim of illegal housing practices? Have you suffered because a property-owner was trying to unlawfully profit at your expense? Oftentimes, in cases like these, it’s hard to know whether or not you are within your legal rights to sue. Malicious landlords prey on the unfamiliarity most tenants have with New York City housing laws. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’ve got a knowledgeable and experienced team of counselors ready and eager to help inform you of your rights and guide you through your legal processes. If you know you’re being treated unfairly, but don’t know where to turn, you can count on Kaplan Lawyers PC. We’ll help you set up a free and easy consultation, where we will analyze the details of your case so that we can get started fighting for you. Don’t hesitate, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today.