In recent news, New York City tenants marched by the thousands to protest rental conditions in the city, bearing signs like “Cap the Rent” and “The Rent is Too Damn High.” 

Collective action is powerful, but marching isn’t your only option. You could also form a tenant organization to champion your interests. 

In New York, tenants can form a tenant organization to protect their interests. A tenants’ organization is any organization of two or more people who band together to protect their interests.

A tenant organization is much like a labor union, except it’s made up of tenants, not workers. You don’t have to formalize your tenant’s organization, though creating by-laws and electing officers can help keep the association more organized. You don’t have to register your association, but the flip side of that is the landlord can ignore the organization (at least at first). The power of a tenant’s organization is often in taking the same actions as a collective. 

A tenants’ organization can help you share legal costs, can share stories of illegal actions taken against you, and provide additional evidence of those same illegal actions. Tenant organizations may file Group HP actions to sue their landlords for repairs and services, file rent-reduction orders for decreased services or repairs, challenge MCIs, and consolidate housing court costs. Together, a tenant’s organization can force landlords to listen when they are not successful alone. 

New York State law and the Constitution protect your right to form a tenant organization. 

  • You have the right to meet in your building.
  • Your landlord may not retaliate against you for joining a tenant organization.
  • Organizers can enter the building for meetings, even if they don’t live there.

In addition, a Tenant Organization may open up new possibilities. In 1978, the Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) Program gave organized Tenant Associations in city-owned buildings the ability to develop economically self-sufficient low-income co-ops that allow tenants to purchase their apartments. 

If you are already in a tenant’s organization and want to file legal action together, you’ll want to work with an experienced real estate lawyer. McAdams Law has extensive experience filing these sorts of cases and welcomes any and all tenant organizations who would like to work with the firm.

Call today to get help. 

See also:

Turn Up the Heat: Your Landlord’s Obligations to Heat Your Apartment

What Happens When Your NYC Landlord Sells Your Apartment Building? 

In New York, When Can Landlords Enter a Tenant’s Home? 

Contact Me To Learn More

Bold labels are required.

Invalid Email
Invalid Number

Connect With Us