Right to Counsel and the Fight against Evictions
Right to Counsel (RTC) is a law passed in New York City in 2017, giving tenants the right to an attorney in housing court. It will be fully in effect by 2022, and is currently being phased in by neighborhoods. The first 20 neighborhoods to have RTC were chosen by the city, in part, because they have some of the highest rates of eviction.
After one year of RTC, evictions are down, landlords are suing people less, and almost everyone who had an attorney through RTC stayed in their homes. We are also seeing tenants across the city fight landlord abuse, with bold actions like rent strikes, because they know RTC will protect them if the landlord retaliates.
But in order for RTC to remain powerful, tenants have to know about this right. There are 345,000 renter households in the 20 neighborhoods that currently have RTC. Many of these tenants don’t know about the new RTC law. Also, because evictions are terrifying and traumatic, many tenants choose to move out instead of to fight their case. Landlords know this and sue thousands of people betting on tenants' fear. We shouldn't let them.
We created the RTC Worst Evictors List as a call to action. This list focuses on the landlords who carry out evictions in neighborhoods where tenants currently have RTC. We want tenants who have this new right to know about it, use it, and fight to stay!
If your landlord isn’t on this list, that doesn’t mean they’re not evicting people. To see the full picture of evictions citywide, see the citywide map. If RTC isn't in effect where you live, that doesn't mean you don’t have rights. You have a LOT of rights—organize to protect and defend them. RTC is only in certain zip codes right now as a way to phase it in. We are also working on a campaign to expand and strengthen the current law. To get involved with this work, join our Right to Counsel, Power to Organize campaign!
Tenants: Stand up, organize and fight back! We are here to fight with you. When you fight, we all win.
Eviction Free NYC
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