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Exclusive: Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit cracks down on negligent landlords across NYC

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Posted at 2:35 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 18:06:01-05

NEW YORK — Do you have a bad landlord? Is your landlord harassing you? If you don’t have heat or hot water, and your landlord isn’t making repairs, the city wants to hear from you.

New York City’s Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has a new unit called the Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit (TAHU).

It’s a team of eight, and they are uniformed inspectors, going door to door, cracking down on bad landlords across the city.

“We’ve been to about 600 buildings since the unit came to existence and 1,000 visits,” said Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services AnnMarie Santiago.

TAHU is led by Santiago and started last April.

Team members include two lawyers and four members who are actual housing inspectors.

You can call 311 and complain if your landlord is harassing you; TAHU makes a house call almost immediately, and they are empowered to issue violations right away.

“If the combination of lack of services meet our criteria, we will initiate litigation against property owners and we have so in 40 to 50 buildings,” said Santiago.

“For tenants, the message is HPD is here for you. We expect landlords to provide services you are entitled to and contact us through 311,” continued Santiago.

Their goal is to crack down on 100 buildings a year.

HPD now pairs their list of complaints with their other official list of the 250 worst buildings with additional legal action to bring more bad landlords to court.

Click here for a list of NYC's worst buildings.

For more information on tenants’ rights and the Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit, click here.