The Real Deal New York

Harlem landlord raising rents despite freeze: lawsuit

Lenox Terrace owner the Olnick Organization accused of claiming increases are preferential rent

December 08, 2015 10:10AM

Bruce Simon 484 Lenox Avenue

From left: Bruce Simon and Lenox Terrace at 484 Lenox Avenue in Harlem

Tenants at Lenox Terrace in Harlem are accusing their landlord, the Olnick Organization, of raising rent on their stabilized apartments in violation of a citywide freeze on those rents this year.

Olnick is claiming the increased rates are preferential rents, rather than illegal hikes, according to David Hershey-Webb, a lawyer representing several of the tenants. He claims his clients never signed lease agreements allowing such increases.

Studios at the building at 484 Lenox Avenue are currently listed at $1,750, one-bedrooms at $2,225 and a two-bedroom at $3,000, DNAinfo reported.

Hershey-Webb sued Olnick, led by Bruce Simon, back in 2010 for destabilizing units while also receiving tax breaks.

New York’s Rent Guidelines Board voted in June to freeze stabilized rents in the city in 2015. [DNAinfo]Ariel Stulberg