10 ways your landlord might try to screw you, and what to do about it

Shady landlords will try to hide rent stabilization like it was a 4-foot guy in a purple beard. Via YouTube.

Shady landlords will try to hide rent stabilization like it was a 4-foot guy in a purple beard. Via YouTube.

The battle between New York City tenant and landlord is as old as time and as epic as the great battles of history, on par with Ali/Frazier, Luigi/Waluigi and Wile E. Coyote and the Acme customer service department. Sure, there are good landlords out there who care about preserving the neighborhood, but often as a lowly tenant you can often feel overwhelmed and outmatched by the resources of the landlord industrial complex who seem to be endlessly conspiring to turn you and everything you own into a condo. So it helps to be armed with the right tenant rights information to stand up for yourself in case the landlord tries to pull some shady moves.

The good folks at ProPublica have put together a handy 10-point list of common ways landlords try to screw you, and what you can do about it. It includes not turning on the heat, refusing to do repairs and jacking your rent up more than allowed. Keep it handy; we hope you never have to use it.

The chart (which we found via BrickUnderground) includes what to do if the landlord falsely claims that the apartment isn’t rent stabilized, adds legal fees to your rent bill, illegally boosts your rent, and more. ProPublica’s list includes resources to verify your rights and where to file complaints about them.

See the full list here.

For some other resources for saying “can-I-live?” to your landlord, check out our guide “You vs. the landlord: who has to pay for what?” to find out which party is responsible for taking care of common issues such as rats, clogged toilets and air conditioning.

Also check out BrickUnderground’s guide to pressuring your landlord into making repairs, and their guide to 5 shady landlord harassment tactics and why you shouldn’t fall for them.