NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced April 12 that his office has unveiled new legislation that would hold New York City’s most unscrupulous landlords accountable for harassing tenants.

“Our current laws are outdated, ineffective, and totally inadequate to keep tenants safe from unscrupulous landlords seeking to unlawfully evict New York families,” Schneiderman said. “With affordable housing as scarce as ever, it’s time for lawmakers to give prosecutors new tools to stop the menacing - and often dangerous - measures these landlords use to force tenants out of their homes. Protecting vulnerable tenants has been, and will remain, a top priority of my office.”

The legislation would launch a new team to enhance Schneiderman’s office’s ability to combat tenant harassment, charge landlords for alleged illegal practices, file felony charges against landlords over allegations of mortgage fraud and form a division called the tenant harassment prevention task force.

“Toughening up criminal penalties helps us level the playing field and protect tenants victimized by greedy, negligent landlords who put their own profit ahead of the rights of those paying the rent,” New York City Mayor William de Blasio said. “I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman's move to make it harder for bad actors to harass tenants, and will join him in advocating for this important penal law change.”

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