(DNAINFO) Lisha Arino — State investigators have launched a probe into an East Village landlord who has been accused of intimidating tenants into vacating their rent-regulated units.
The state’s Tenant Protection Unit served subpoenas on companies owned by Rafael Toledano as part of an investigation into claims of tenant harassment.
Tenants at 444 E. 13th St. took Toledano’s Goldmark Property Management and its agents to court earlier this year, claiming that they were trying to drive tenants out of their longtime homes through illegal construction and persistent buyout offers.
The landlord also refused to make repairs in their apartments and asked tenants to provide documents like passports to prove their legal status while accusing them of illegal activity like prostitution and drug trafficking, residents previously told DNAinfo.
Toledano’s agents also told residents about “looming police and immigration raids, rent hikes and structural problems in an effort to force them to sign agreements surrendering their rights to their apartments” in secret recordings made by tenants, according to theNew York Daily News, which first reported the investigation.