Rent-regulation settlement against Pinnacle may be at risk

TRD New York /
Apr.April 23, 2013 09:30 AM

A major rent-regulation settlement may be in jeopardy after a number of tenants complained that they were ineligible for millions of dollars in compensation from landlord Pinnacle Group, the New York Times reported.

On Monday, the tenants asked a Manhattan federal appeals court to overturn the class-action lawsuit settlement against Pinnacle, which was originally brought over allegations of rent overcharges and harassment. The original suit was brought against Pinnacle – an aggressive player in the rent-regulated market — and its principal owner Joel Wiener in 2007. The tenants alleged that that the company illegally inflated rents and “systematically” harassed them to move in order to secure higher rents. 

The tenants’ new team of lawyers said the settlement keeps 77 percent of the 22,000 tenants in Pinnacle buildings from receiving compensation from the landlord, and that Pinnacle should be liable for much more than it is required to pay.

A lawyer for Pinnacle, Mitchell Karlan, told the Times that the settlement had been “fair and reasonable,” and added: “We expect that the settlement will be approved just as it was.”

And Richard Levy, who negotiated the original class-action settlement for the tenants, told the Times that fewer than 1 percent of the plaintiffs were opposed to the original deal. The exclusions in the settlement, Levy said, were justified as they dealt with claims that either exceeded the statute of limitations or those that were a result of bad conduct of other landlords.

“It is very sad,” Levy said of the appeal. “All they have done here is delay the relief for the 22,000 plaintiffs.” [NYT]Hiten Samtani


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Blackstone CEO Steven Schwartzman and Stuyvesant Town (Credit: Getty Images)

After authorities vowed review of Stuy Town deal, Blackstone changes course on vacancies

Real Capital Analytics data showed that New York’s multifamily market had a very slow July. (Credit: iStock)

New NYC rent law “beginning to shut down investment”

Some landlords say they plan to close the door to vacant apartments and wait for the laws to change (Credit: iStock)

Creative ways NYC landlords are getting around the new rent rules

(Credit: iStock)

“Indentured landlord” in rent-reg lawsuit vents at politicians

A&E Real Estate Holdings principal Douglas Eisenberg and the properties along Queens Blvd and 65th Avenue (Credit: The Rego Park 18 Portfolio)

A&E Real Estate buys huge rent-stabilized portfolio at deep discount

Clockwise from left: 5203-5207 Church Avenue in Brooklyn, 119-40 Metropolitan Avenue in Queens, 855 East 217th Street in the Bronx and 31-35 Steinway Street in Queens (Credit: Google Maps)

Going once, Going twice! Rent-stabilized portfolio hits auction block

Taconic Investment Partners’ Charles Bendit and A&E Real Estate Holding’s Douglas Eisenberg (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Multifamily heavyweights pitched rent plan before Albany hammered landlords

Cea Weaver and the Nassau County Courthouse (Credit: Wikipedia)

Tenant group attacks Democratic senators for taking real estate money

arrow_forward_ios