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A.G. Schneiderman Announces $540k Settlement With Manhattan Developer For Concealing Prohibited Rent-Controlled Tenant Buyouts

(AG.NY.GOV) Eric Sneiderman Office, June 14, 2016 — A.G. Schneiderman Announces $540k Settlement With Manhattan Developer For Concealing Prohibited Rent-Controlled Tenant Buyouts

Agreement Requires Developer To Pay Restitution Into City-AG Affordable Housing Fund, Bringing Total In Fund From A.G. Investigations To More Than 10 Million

Schneiderman: My Office Continues To Work To Make Sure Real Estate Developers Respect Tenant Rights And New York Laws When Converting Occupied Rental Buildings To Condominiums

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with 165 West 91st Street Holdings, LLC, a Manhattan developer, for the loss of two rent-controlled apartments in an Upper West Side building while it was being converted into a condominium, as a result of prohibited agreements to buy-out tenancy rights. The settlement requires the developer to pay a $540,000 penalty, $490,000 of which will go to the New York City Affordable Housing Fund created by the Attorney General’s office in order to compensate for lost affordable housing.

“With many struggling to find affordable housing, my office will not tolerate real estate developers who circumvent laws designed to protect rent-stabilized units,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “I am pleased that this agreement will directly benefit hardworking New Yorkers by allowing for the creation of additional affordable housing units which will boost our communities.”

Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell said, “I commend Attorney General Schneiderman’s settlement on behalf of two formerly rent controlled tenants. The loss of rent regulated housing in my district is striking — any and all attempts to bring units back into regulation are appreciated. Barring that, settlements like these are important to at least assist the tenants who have lost these units. The incentive to break the law for huge profits must be eliminated. The AG’s actions will hopefully send a strong message to owners that breaking the law does not pay.”

“A number of tenants from this building came to our office for help with tenant harassment,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “Thank you Attorney General Schneiderman and your elite team for demonstrating that there will be a price to pay for property owners who blatantly disregard our housing laws. So many New Yorkers are in great need of affordable housing, and it’s appalling that some landlords will stop at no end to take back rent-regulated apartments. I hope this sends a clear message.”

The Martin Act, New York’s blue sky law, protects apartment purchasers and tenants in buildings that are converted to coops or condominiums. Tenants get an exclusive right to buy their units and, in most cases, cannot be evicted purely because the building is being converted.

Source: A.G. Schneiderman Announces $540k Settlement With Manhattan Developer For Concealing Prohibited Rent-Controlled Tenant Buyouts | www.ag.ny.gov