Terrible Landlord Accused Of Harassing, Literally Freezing Out Tenants

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The landlord in East Harlem in New York City wanted the last rent-stabilized tenants out. The rest of the building was being renovated to attract market-rate tenants, but the family with five kids just wouldn’t leave, even after the five other households in the building did. Now the landlord has been arrested and accused of harassing the family and endangering their children.

The landlord’s attorney told reporters that the family were “nonpaying tenant[s] with an obvious and substantial reason to make false claims.” However, the New York Times reports that the family paid rent until they left the building.

The family complains that they lived without heat or hot water during an especially tough winter, and the water in their toilet froze. The city also says that the building was renovated to remove exterior walls, and the only fire exit was blocked.

The landlord is accused of sending representatives over at night to pound on the door and threaten to report the family––who are undocumented immigrants––to the authorities. The landlord is also accused of reporting them to the city for overcrowding, with nine people in a four-bedroom apartment when some relatives came to stay.

The landlord, property manager, and contractor face up to seven years in prison for charges including reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Landlord Accused of Harassing Tenants Is Arrested [New York Times]
Manhattan DA, Public Advocate’s Message to Harlem Landlord: Don’t Mess With Tenants [New York Observer]

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