A bill meant to bolster protections for tenants cleared the Democratic-led Senate on Wednesday and now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for his approval.

The measure is program bill for Attorney General Letitia James and would create new penalties for landlords who seek to induce a tenant to leave their home, expand penalties for landlords who create unhealthy living conditions in order for a renter to leave and creates a felony for repeated offenses.

“Over the years I have heard far too many horror stories from my constituents about the harassment they have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous landlords trying to drive them out of their homes. But as the law stands now, it is nearly impossible for criminal charges to be filed against even the worst offenders,” Sen. Liz Krueger, who sponsored the legislation with Assemblyman Joe Lentol.

“It is high time this law was updated to protect tenants and give them a fighting chance, and to safeguard our dwindling stock of affordable housing. I commend Attorney General James for her leadership on this issue, and I urge the Governor to sign this bill so that rent-regulated New Yorkers can live free of the fear of harassment from their landlords.”

Current law requires prosecutors to prove that when a landlord causes a tenant to leave their homes, they must demonstrate a physical injury due to the landlord’s actions and that the landlord intended to cause that injury.

“For far too long, unscrupulous landlords have gotten away with subjecting rent-regulated tenants to dangerous and horrific conditions in an attempt to force them out of their homes,” James said.

“The landlords behind these serious acts of tenant harassment have been able to evade justice because the standard for proving criminal culpability has been impossibly high – today that begins to change. This bill will go a long way in protecting our most vulnerable tenants by changing the legal standard of harassment and allowing prosecutors to finally pursue these acts that have hurt countless New Yorkers.”