By Sabina Mollot
The City Council has introduced a package of 18 bills that take aim at landlords who use shady tactics to empty their buildings on lower-rent paying tenants.
To crack down on the practices, which include lying on permits and denying access to building inspectors, the legislation’s sponsors are hoping to hit back with denials of permits and doubling of fines for violating existing laws.
Keith Powers was one of the 12 council members who introduced a bill. His legislation would deny building permits to property owners for one year if they are caught lying about the number of occupied units in their buildings.
Powers told Town & Village the bills are intended to crack down on bad actors and improve coordination between oversight agencies. They were, in part, inspired by the revelation that the Kushner Companies failed to note the presence of rent-stabilized tenants in 17 buildings 42 times when filing applications with the Department of Buildings.