Tenants’ Rights Walk-In Clinic

Met Council on Housing’s free clinic offers tenants assistance with landlord-tenant disputes.

Due to concerns over COVID-19, our regular weekly and bi-monthly clinics continue to be on hiatus. Our Tenant’s Rights’ Telephone Hotline will continue to be open.

Update 6/22: Introducing the Summer ’22 Monthly Clinic!

We are excited to announce that we will be holding a monthly outdoor clinic during June, July, and August this year. The clinic is held form 5:30pm-8pm at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden in the East Village (East 9th Street and Avenue C) The clinic will meet on the following dates:

6/23 (rain date: 6/25 1-3pm)

7/21 (rain date: 7/23 1-3pm)

8/25 (rain date: 8/27 1-3pm)

Please check back for any updates and please email katee@metcouncilonhousing.org if you have questions


Before you come to our walk-in clinic, please note:

  • Please first seek answers to your questions on this website in the Help & Answers section, or by calling our Tenants’ Rights Telephone Hotline. Most questions can be answered on our hotline, and at our clinic we have very limited capacity. The clinic is staffed by one trained volunteer per evening, and often there are a dozen or more tenants seeking help.
  • You must arrive by 5:30 p.m. to be helped, and if you arrive late you may not be able to ask your question.
  • This is an open environment. We all sit in a circle, so your housing matter will be discussed in front of other people. If certain facts about your case are sensitive (such as the exact amount of rent you pay) you can find a way to discreetly share this information with the clinic leader, and we will respect that, but realize that your issue as a whole will be heard by others. We encourage cooperation and collaboration, and we encourage you to stay around when your issue is over to lend support to others or simply to learn. If you need to discuss your question privately, please call our hotline
  • Realize the limitations of our service. We will help guide you, but ultimately you need to become your own advocate. We are not a service organization that takes on clients – we are tenant volunteers who are helping other tenants. And while we are trained on the laws and regulations relating to tenants’ rights in New York City, we don’t know everything!
  • We only help tenants, and only on issues related to their apartment. The clinic is not open to landlords, and we do not advise tenants on how to pursue evictions (including against roommates or family members.) We can only help on issues related to housing – not other matters.

What services does Met Council on Housing provide tenants who visit our Tenants’ Rights Walk-In Clinic?

We can give brief answers to your rights as a tenant, and explain your options for dealing with a housing situation.

Common questions relate to:

  • getting repairs from negligent landlords
  • getting adequate heat in the winter months
  • dealing with the threat of eviction
  • questions about leases and lease renewals
  • legal rent increases for rent-regulated apartments

We can also provide referrals to agencies, community organizing groups, and tenant lawers – either free legal services or private-practice lawyers, depending on your situation.

What we don’t do:

  • We cannot give legal advice – we’re trained volunteers, not lawyers. While we can explain your rights and options under the law, we cannot advise you on how to proceed in a legal case. If you know that you need the services of a lawyer, please read our page on finding a lawyer.
  • We don’t give rental assistance or provide help with back-rent. We’re a grassroots membership organization, and we don’t have the funds for this. If financial assistance is what you need, we encourage you to read our fact sheet on if you just can’t afford the rent.
  • We cannot advocate on your behalf nor do we have any extra pull with city or state agencies. We can give you pointers on how to be an effective advocate for yourself.
  • We cannot help you locate new housing or place you in housing – for that, check our website here.

Do you offer legal advice at the Tenants’ Rights Walk-In Clinic?

No. Our tenants’ rights telephone counselors are trained volunteers, not lawyers. We can tell you about your rights as a tenant, your options for solving a problem with your housing situation, and strategies for how to assert your rights. We can educate you about the laws that exist to protect you. However, we cannot advise you about how to proceed on legal matters. Only lawyers are legally permitted – and qualified – to do that.

What languages can you answer questions in?

The Inwood Clinic is done fully is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. At the East Village Clinic, Spanish the available the first Monday of each month. ASL is avaible at either clinic please email info@metcouncilonhousing.org in advance. We are currently unable to provide interpretation into other languages at this time. If you are looking for tenants’ rights information, our help and answer section is currently being translated into Arabic, French, Russia, Chinese, or Korean.

Locations

The East Village Clinic

Meet at the offices of the Cooper Square Committee, located at 61 East 4th Street in Manhattan, between the Bowery and 2nd Avenue, on Tuesday nights beginning at 6:30pm.

Nearest subway stations:

  • 6 to Astor Place;
  • F to 2nd Avenue; or
  • N / R to 8th Street

The Inwood Clinic

Meet at 5030 Broadway between 213th and 214th Street in the 6 floor large conference room, on the Second and Fourth Wednesday of the month beginning at 6:30pm.

This Clinic is fully bilingual in English and Spanish

Nearest subway stations:

  • A to 207th St;
  • 1 to 215th St; or
  • Buses – Bx7 or Bx20

Note: You must arrive by 6:30 to be served. If you arrive later, you may be turned away.