Tenants in New York Press the Record Button in a Dispute With the Landlord

Renters in New York are fighting back against landlords by recording conversations.
News Story (New York)

Mireya Navarro
New York Times (NYT)
October 18, 2015

Tags: Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Impact Center for Public Interest Law (NY), Urban Justice Center (UJC) (New York City)


To the tenants, who were in rent-stabilized units and paying below-market rents, it was all an attempt to illegally pressure them to move out, an increasingly common complaint heard in New York City’s Housing Court. Usually, it is the residents’ word against the owners’, but the tenants of 444 East 13th Street, in the East Village, went to court armed with more than a tale: They had audio and video, surreptitiously recorded on cameras and smartphones, from conversations they said had been meant to scare them into leaving their apartments.

“The building is going to be shaking; the vermin will start running,” one agent, who identified himself as Newton Hinds in a cellphone audio recording, said about the planned demolition.