Friday, June 17, 2016

NYC Landlord/Condo Developer Nabbed For Illegally Buying Out Tenancy Rights From Two Elderly Rent-Controlled Tenants, Then Using Fake Eviction Proceedings To Cover Up Illicit Handiwork; Agrees To Cough Up $500K+ To Settle Charges w/ State AG

In New York City, DNAInfo New York reports:
  • A Manhattan landlord and developer who illegally bought out two elderly, rent-controlled tenants then tried to cover it up will pay nearly half a million dollars in a settlement with the state, the Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced [].(1)

    "With many struggling to find affordable housing, my office will not tolerate real estate developers who circumvent laws designed to protect rent-stabilized units," the AG said [].

    Both tenants, who both paid about $1700 — one for a 2-bedroom and the other for a 3-bedroom — approached the developer, 165 West 91st Street Holdings LLC, who is also the landlord, hoping to be bought out of their apartments, but under state law they had to wait until building renovation plans were approved by the AG.

    The developer who began converting apartments in the building into condominiums in May 2012, bought the units from them for $200,000 and $155,000 respectively in Dec. 2012 even though the conversion plans were still being reviewed.

    Afterwards, the developer attempted to cover up the illegal early buy-out by bringing fake non-payment proceedings against its tenants.

    By claiming the tenants were not paying rent, the developer was able to falsely settle with the tenants and pay them for their units.(2)
For more, see UWS Landlord Pays $500K After Illegally Buying Out Rent Stabilized Tenants.
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(1) For the New York AG press release, see A.G. Schneiderman Announces $540K Settlement With Manhattan Developer For Concealing Prohibited Rent-Controlled Tenant Buyouts.

(2) According to the New York AG's office:
  • These purported “settlements” were not settlements to bona fide non-payment proceedings. Rather, the non-payment proceedings were brought solely with the purpose of concealing the improper red-herring tenant buy-outs.

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