25 Sep 23

new york penal law 241 05 harassment of a rent regulated tenant

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Last Updated on: 29th September 2023, 05:30 am


NY Penal Law 241.05 – Harassment of a Rent Regulated Tenant

Hey friend! If you or someone you care about is dealing with charges under NY Penal Law 241.05 for harassment of a rent regulated tenant, I understand you’re worried. But don’t panic! This article will explain the law, penalties, and defenses so you know how to protect your rights. I’m here to educate and support you.

What is Harassment of a Rent Regulated Tenant in New York?

This charge applies when a landlord tries to force a rent stabilized or rent controlled tenant to move out through harassment, threats, or intimidation[1]. Under the law, harassment involves[2]:

  • Causing physical harm or injury
  • Creating unsafe living conditions
  • Removing essential services like heat/water
  • Using force or threats to vacate

The key is landlords cannot try to illegally influence regulated tenants to give up their apartments.

What Are the Penalties Under Penal Law 241.05?

Harassment of a rent regulated tenant in the first degree is a Class E felony in NY[3]. Potential penalties include:

  • 1 to 4 years in state prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Permanent criminal record

Second degree harassment is a misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail. These charges are taken very seriously.

Are There Defenses to This Charge?

Yes, a skilled lawyer can often get the charges against a landlord reduced or dismissed. Some potential defenses include[4]:

  • You did not harass the tenant
  • The tenant is falsely accusing you
  • Your actions were reasonable and legal
  • You have proof of your innocence

An experienced attorney will aggressively challenge the prosecution’s evidence against you.

Can I Be Convicted Without Physically Injuring the Tenant?

Yes, the harassment charge does not require actual physical harm, only actions intended to improperly influence the tenant to vacate[5]. But causing injury strengthens the prosecution’s case and leads to more severe penalties.

What If the Tenant Isn’t Actually Rent Regulated?

Mistakenly believing the tenant is rent stabilized or controlled is not a defense. The law prohibits harassment against tenants you believe are regulated, whether or not they actually are.

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What Should I Do if Facing These Charges?

If questioned, arrested or charged with harassing a rent regulated tenant, experts recommend:

  • Remain silent and avoid self-incrimination
  • Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away
  • Follow all conditions of bail or pretrial release
  • Save evidence proving lawful conduct

The stakes are high, so skilled legal defense is essential.

Key Takeaways

Let’s recap some key points about Penal Law 241.05 harassment charges:

  • First degree harassment is a Class E felony
  • No physical injury is required for conviction
  • Mistakenly believing tenant is regulated is no defense
  • Experienced lawyers can often beat the charges
  • Illegal landlord actions carry serious penalties

I hope this overview helps you understand these allegations in New York. With an aggressive defense lawyer on your side, the outcome may be better than you think. Don’t go through it alone!