Friday, May 27, 2016

NYC Landlord Accused Of Effort To Intentionally Fail HUD Inspections As "A Backdoor Way" To Oust Difficult-To-Boot, Rent-Regulated Section 8 Tenants Settles Controversy w/ Renters; Issues Created By Previous Landlord's Neglect Now Being Corrected, Most Units Pass Re-Inspection, Cleared For Reinstatement

In Ridgewood, Queens, The Real Deal (NYC) reports:
  • Silvershore Properties are one of a group of landlords being accused of abusing Section 8 regulations to force tenants to move out of potentially lucrative buildings.

    Residents of one of the company’s rental buildings, at 1071 Cypress Avenue in Ridgewood, many of whom take advantage of the Section 8 housing voucher program, accused the landlord of failing to make critical repairs and then not responding to the calls.

    Advocates say Silvershore’s policy might be a deliberate attempt to take advantage of a Section 8 rule that requires tenants to leave apartments that fail to pass maintenance inspections. While the rule is normally designed to protect tenants, advocates say it allows landlords who buy buildings in up-and-coming neighborhoods a way to move out their less profitable residents, WNYC reported.

    It’s kind of like a backdoor way to remove Section 8 tenants and really to lose units of affordable housing,” Kenny Minaya, the tenant’s’ attorney, told the paper.

    In a statement, a spokesperson for Silvershore said the company didn’t receive documentation about Section 8 tenants at the time of purchase, wasn’t notified of Section 8 inspections, and is cooperating fully with the Section 8 tenants’ attorneys.
For more, see Silvershore accused of trying to force out Section 8 tenants by failing to make repairs (Advocates say investment firm's policy might be deliberate attempt to boot poorer tenants).

For a follow-up story, see Ridgewood tenants resolve rental beef:
  • The Ridgewood residents who rallied outside of their apartment building earlier this year claiming the new owners were abusing Section 8 regulations to force them out of their rent-regulated apartments have come to an agreement with the landlord and the NYC Department of Housing and Development (HPD).
    A spokesperson for Silvershore Properties said that the owners were not provided with Section 8 voucher numbers for tenants when they purchased the property from an absentee landlord in November 2015. Also, Silvershore was not added to the NYCHA Section 8 Extranet until March of 2016, meaning

    Silvershore was not notified of any Section 8 inspections, according to the spokesperson.

    “Silvershore has never commenced any action to evict any of the Section 8 tenants for non-payment and the accusations are completely false,” the spokesperson said. “Since being notified, six apartments of the eight that failed inspection have been completed and reinstated. Silvershore has been compliant with all issues since being notified and is working directly with the Section 8 tenants’ attorneys to complete any outstanding issues that were a result of the previous landlords’ neglect.”

    According to HPD, no apartments in the building were suspended from the Section 8 program due to violations. HPD said there was a payment issue when the property switched owners in 2015 and they wanted to be sure they were paying the correct landlord.