In 2016, NYC passed new commercial tenant protections to help small businesses retain their space despite landlord pressures to vacate the premises. This is good news for commercial tenants who have not always enjoyed the same protections as residential tenants when it comes to landlord harassment.
Specifically, the law stated commercial tenant rights to protect themselves against landlords who try to intimidate them with illegal tactics like harassment. A landlord is prohibited from harassing small business owners or tenants of nonresidential properties in any way that is intended to cause the tenant to vacate the property, give up their lease, or surrender their rights. Outlawed tactics include, but are not limited to:
- The use of force or real or implied threats against the tenant.
- The repeated interruption or discontinuance of essential services.
- The interruption or discontinuance of essential services for an extended period of time.
- The interruption or discontinuation of essential services that substantially interfere with the tenant’s business.
- The unauthorized removal of personal property belonging to the commercial tenant from the property.
- The removal of doors and/or the changing or tampering with locks of the unit.
- Anything that prevents the tenant from accessing the unit.
- Substantially interfering with the tenant’s ability to operate the business.
Get in touch with Brasch Legal to learn how to protect your commercial tenant rights
If you are a commercial tenant who is being harassed and want to protect your business and rights, contact the attorneys at Brasch Legal at 212-267-2500. We have worked in the field of landlord-tenant law for over 20 years. We have helped many commercial tenants. Just call (212) 267-2500 or email [email protected] for assistance.
Lawsuits and Penalties
Under the law, commercial tenants who are being harassed can file lawsuits against their landlords. If the landlord is found guilty of harassment, the landlord may find themselves paying fines and penalties between $1,000 and $10,000 for each property in which a tenant has been harassed, in addition to paying the tenant’s legal fees. Some landlords may even find themselves under a restraining order and liable for compensatory and punitive damages. Landlords now run the risk of suffering significant financial liability due to real or perceived tenant harassment.
There are protections for landlords as well. These include certain defenses and clarifications surrounding lawful termination of the tenancy, lawful repossession of the property, and a lawful refusal to renew or extend the lease agreement.
Although the law is a step in the right direction for commercial tenants, it is more important than ever to have experienced legal representation whenever you are involved in a situation involving landlord harassment. While the protections may be stronger, both sides now face potentially higher business risks.
Landlord and tenant law in New York is complex; the administrative procedures, filing limitations, evidentiary requirements and other procedural demands can be confusing without the skilled guidance of an experienced lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law.
Justin Brasch has a broad range of services and experience defending tenants in landlord-tenant disputes. From lease interpretation to trials and hearings, Mr. Brasch and his office have the expertise to prevent the loss of your business premises. If you are a tenant in New York and need legal advice, you can rely on our office to provide you with accurate legal direction to resolve your matter in an efficient and affordable manner. Whether you pursue litigation or settlement, Mr. Brasch has handled these cases for over 20 years and can apply his proven strategies to efficiently resolve your dispute.
Contact Brasch Legal for advice and representation in Commercial Tenant-Landlord Disputes
The attorneys at Brasch Legal can help you protect your commercial tenant rights. As a tenant, you have the right to all services set forth in your lease as well as additional new protections against landlords who are trying to deny you those services or coerce you into giving them up. Contact us at 212-2672500 for legal advice and representation!