If you are an immigrant living in New York City, you should know that your immigration status does not affect your rights as a tenant in New York. If, for any reason, your landlord threatens to evict you or tries to evict you, understand that they cannot evict you without a court order, no matter what they tell you.

The only exception is if you live in an apartment that does not meet city code requirements. Then the city could serve you a vacate order.

What do I do if my landlord tries to evict me without a court order but threatens to call ICE when I do not comply?

If a landlord mentions your immigration status, perceived immigration status, or national origin as a way to intimidate you, you have a strong case for tenant harassment and discrimination.

New York City’s Human Rights Law makes it illegal for a landlord to discriminate against someone based on perceived immigration status, including using abusive language, slurs, suggesting you go back to “your country” or even threatening to call ICE.

Can my landlord ask me about my immigration status?

The answer is no. A landlord even asking you your immigration status is illegal. Also, if your landlord makes any decision about whether or not to rent to you, raise your rent, renew your lease, or kick you out based on your immigration status, that is considered discrimination and is illegal.

What can I do if I feel I am being discriminated against based on my immigration status?

If you feel you are being discriminated against because of your immigration status, perceived immigration status, or country of origin, you should seek legal support immediately.