Target: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Goal: Enforce New York state laws that protect tenant’s rights
There are difficult landlords all across the country. However, the problem of bad landlords is worse in large cities, such as New York City. In New York, landlords are often called ‘slumlords’ for the terrible condition in which they keep their properties. Tenants have the legal right to withhold rent if they feel their home is unsafe, but many fear eviction with no repercussions to the landlord.
Tenants in some of the worst New York apartments complain of pests, broken heating equipment, and little to no security in their buildings. Reporting the problems does not resolve anything for these tenants. According to a source from the city’s Department of Buildings, ‘It could take anywhere between three to four weeks to get the inspection. The city is slowly getting things done, but there are so many buildings and properties, I think some things fall through the cracks.’ Reporting the problems directly to the landlords often provides no resolution either.
New York state law allows tenants to withhold rent for unsafe conditions. However, there are many stories from upset tenants who have been threatened with eviction or deportation for withholding this. The landlords often are not punished for taking advantage of these tenants, getting away with forcing money out of renters who may not know their rights. Tell Mayor Bloomberg to enforce tenants’ rights and protect them from these slumlords.
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
Tenants renting in New York City are often faced with terrible living conditions and difficult landlords. People often complain of pests and little security, yet complaints to their landlords are often ignored. Complaints to city departments take a long time to be processed before an inspection can be done, forcing the tenants to continue to live in deplorable conditions.
I ask you to enforce New York state laws which allow tenants to withhold rent if they live in unsafe conditions. There are many reports of tenants who have tried to do this, only to face eviction or deportation from their landlords. New York City has had a history of supporting these ‘slumlords’ instead of the rights of the tenants. I ask you to change this and enforce the tenants’ rights.
[Your Name Here]