Housing Unable to Bring Harassment Claim

180 East 18th Street, Brooklyn. Image Credit: Google Maps.

Judge finds that The Department of Housing does not have the authority to bring a cause of action for harassment within the Housing Maintenance Code. Juda and Baruch Rosenfeld own a property located at 180 East 18 Street, Brooklyn, New York. The Department of Housing Preservation sued the Rosenfeld’s for allegedly failing to comply with Housing Maintenance Code violations, and for harassing tenants.

The Rosenfeld’s moved for partial summary judgment arguing that The Department of Housings harassment claims are a remedy that is only available to tenants, and lawful occupants, as evidenced by the Housing Maintenance Code. In Response, Housing argued that it has broad enforcement authority, which includes seeking injunctive relief, against any violation of the Housing Maintenance code including harassment.

Kings County Civil Court Judge Julie Poley ruled that The Department of Housing did not have the authority to bring the claim on behalf of the tenants and dismissed the suit against the Rosenfeld’s. Judge Poley reviewed the tenant protection act, along with existing case law, and ruled that harassment is a remedy only available to tenants. Therefore, in order to have standing to bring a claim of harassment you must be a tenant.

By: Jason Messinger (Jason is a New York Law School student, Class of 2023.)

Dept. of Hous. Preserv. & Dev. of the City of NY v Rosenfeld, 75 Misc 3d 483 (Civ Ct, Kings County 2022)


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