Tenant Law Podcast

Welcome to the Tenant Law Podcast, where we talk about new, interesting, and/or important legal cases affecting New York City tenants. Listen on Apple, Spotify, Youtube. There are also a bunch of great blog posts on this page of tenant questions and Tenant Learning Platform instructor’s answers.

back to articles

Warning: Use of undefined constant dynamic_sidebar - assumed 'dynamic_sidebar' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/tenantlearning/public_html/wp-content/themes/tenant-child/single-default.php on line 34


What can you do about the hazards caused by warehoused (vacant) apartments in your building? NYC Local Law 1 of 2024!

Jul 05, 2024

In Episode 28 we discuss what you can do if you suffer bad consequences from your landlord warehousing empty apartments in your building by examining NYC Local law 1 of 2024. This raises two immediate questions. First, why would a landlord not rent out an empty apartment? Second, why would perpetually empty apartments bother other tenants in the building?


Listen on Spotify, Apple, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.


There is a phenomenon in New York City, when a rent regulated tenant leaves an apartment after being there for a long time, where sometimes a landlord does not re-rent the apartment. The landlord might perceive that the cost of getting the apartment in rentable shape, which is pretty worn down after somebody living there for decades, is more than they will make over a long period of time with a new rent regulated rent, which is going to be below market. I am not saying that the landlords are right; I am not saying that landlords are wrong. This is a political issue, and this is not a political show, there are no shortage of those. This show is about the practical things you can do right now to live better in your NYC apartment. And my point simply is that there is no dispute that many apartments are being warehoused.


The reason it is tough on existing tenants to have units that are warehoused and sitting empty is because, you know the saying – “idle hands do the devil’s work”. Well, empty apartments are the source of a lot of problems in a building. Usually, the apartments that are warehoused are apartments that were in bad shape to begin with. If there is a persistent leak, and if nobody is there to complain about it, then the leak can go on and on and cause a mold condition on walls, ceilings, and floors that can get worse and worse and that can end up affecting other apartments, either via the air circulation in the building or from the condition spreading on surfaces. Empty apartments can be havens for mice and rats. Sometimes, if the heat is not on in an empty apartment, it can cause pipes to freeze and burst. What if there is no one changing the batteries in the smoke detector in an unoccupied apartment? G-d forbid there is a gas leak in the unit.


And then there are other problems. Sometimes building personnel who are aware that an apartment is empty will use the apartment behind the owner’s back for nefarious purposes. The owner is not on site in the super is, so the super has a lot of power. So sometimes supers or building managers get up to untoward things in vacant apartments. Even worse, sometimes people from the outside break in and will squat in an empty apartment and that is extremely bad for the legitimate tenants of the building.


In this episode, we look closely at the new NYC Local Law 1 of 2024, which allows you to make complaints that the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is obligated to follow up on regarding unoccupied apartments in your building.



Warning: Use of undefined constant dynamic_sidebar - assumed 'dynamic_sidebar' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/tenantlearning/public_html/wp-content/themes/tenant-child/footer.php on line 20