Specialized Housing Court Aims To Strengthen Tenant Rights in Rochester

A new housing court in the city of Rochester is designed to assist and protect tenants with potential landlord issues.

News Story (New York)

Mary McCombs
Spectrum News Rochester
January 7, 2020

Tags: Housing, Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Rochester


Under a newly specialized housing court, renters in Rochester will now be able to pursue a small claims lawsuit in city court, if they prove that their landlord failed to comply with a city notice and order. The new court expedites the process for tenants as a judge hears the case directly, within 22 days of being filed.

The Legal Aid Society of Rochester was on hand for the announcement Tuesday. Mark Muoio is the director of the housing and consumer law unit at the Legal Aid Society of Rochester. Muoio says the nonprofit organization has a test case in city court this week in which he’s hoping to see a ruling that goes beyond financial relief for tenants.

“Not just a money judgment, but a full repair on a timeline. It’s my belief that tenants have that ability and we’re just litigating it. It’s something that needs to be done through the court system,” Muoio said.