Council passes Koo’s bill cracking down on immigrant harassment

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The City Council has passed a bill, authored by Councilman Peter Koo, that includes discriminatory threats and requests for proof of citizenship under the umbrella definition of tenant harassment.

This change in law will allow tenants to bring harassment claims to Housing Court. Landlords convicted of harassment are subject to civil penalties between $1,000 and $10,000.

Now, the definition of harassment includes this language:

Threatening any tenants based on age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, caregiver status, uniformed service, sexual orientation or alienage or citizenship status, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking, lawful source of income, or because children are, may be or would be residing in the unit; and Requesting proof of citizenship after a current government-issued I.D. has already been provided.

“The message this legislation sends to bad landlords is clear: if you harass your tenants, or make any threat based on status, you will face consequences,” Koo says. “In New York City, we support and stand by our immigrant communities, and this legislation will provide additional protections from harassment.”

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