AG James to state law enforcement agencies: Don’t let landlords use you to violate tenant rights

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New York Attorney General Letitia James emphasized Monday that law enforcement should not be used at the behest of landlords to violate tenant rights.

Issuing a memo to law enforcement agencies all across the state, James said she looked to provide guidance regarding police response to complaints of renters. James is concerned that landlords or superintendents could use emergency services as a tool to break up legal tenant procedures such as meetings or to organize against property owners. 

“As New Yorkers grapple with unprecedented rent increases and an increasingly difficult rental market, we are seeing some landlords use concerning tactics,” Attorney General James said. “We have seen reports of landlords calling the police on tenants for gathering and organizing in their own buildings — actions that are well within the parameters of the law. Every tenant should feel comfortable exercising their right to organize without fear of legal retaliation. Landlords cannot use our law enforcement officers as tools to bully and threaten tenants, and my office will work to ensure that local sheriffs and law enforcement departments understand the rights of tenants across the state.”

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