If an apartment needs repairs, a tenant may bring an HP case (“H” for Housing and “P” for Part). The tenant will fill out papers which explain what needs to be repaired in the apartment and public areas of the building. A housing inspector may be asked to visit the building. In addition, more than one tenant can join together to get repairs done by either bringing an HP proceeding together or utilizing the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) Tenant Assistance Unit.
If the building has serious problems, such as frequent lack of heat or hot water, or lack of basic maintenance or services or if a landlord is harassing tenants, the tenants can get together to bring a 7A proceeding. At least one- third of all the tenants in the building must agree to bring the 7A proceeding. In a 7A proceeding, the tenants in a building ask the court to remove the landlord as active manager and to appoint an administrator, who is supervised by the court. The Administrator will collect the rent monies and use them to make repairs and to put the building back in shape. The landlord keeps legal ownership, but no longer has the power to operate the building. If the 7A administrator succeeds in repairing the building, the court can give control of the building back to the landlord.
Illegal Lockout Proceedings.
The tenant, who has been locked out of an apartment illegally or without a City Marshal, brings a case which goes directly to a trial judge. A tenant usually can get a court hearing the next day after getting the papers for the illegal lockout proceeding.