Most of the landlord-tenant laws in New York are in place to protect the tenant. This means that they can ultimately hurt the landlords' ability to make as much money as they may like. Therefore, many landlords try to circumvent the laws or in some cases simply ignore or violate them in order to make extra money. Many can get away with it because many tenants do not know their rights. However, tenants have many rights and landlords who violate them may find themselves in a landlord-tenant dispute.
Recently, a landlord in Brooklyn reached a settlement with the Attorney General for $132,000 for violating the laws surrounding lease buyouts. The landlords illegally approached their tenants offering them buyouts of their rent stabilized apartments without giving them prior notice. They also did not properly advise the tenants of their rights regarding the buyout. The Attorney General stated that the landlords were harassing their tenants into taking the buyouts.