State’s pro-tenant task force draws landlord ire

New York /
Oct.October 21, 2013 02:31 PM

Landlords are accusing the Tenant Protections Unit, a state agency tasked with monitoring landlords accused of pressuring tenants out of rent-regulated units, of overstepping its mandate.

The TPU’s work over the last year has mostly consisted of conducting audits of landlords who neglect to file proper registration forms with the city. But a move asking landlords to surrender documentation on what they spent to improve vacant apartments ruffled feathers, as in the past such paperwork was only required when a tenant formally registered an objection.

Industry insiders complained that the TPU steps on the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s toes. It is the DHCR, they said, that is supposed to deal with disputes between landlords and tenants, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“A landlord can never win,” Adam Leitman Bailey, a lawyer who represents building owners and tenants, told the Journal. “They have to spend huge amounts of money on legal fees, and even if they win they can’t brag about it, because it will still hurt the landlord’s reputation.”

The TPU is actually funded through the DHCR and has “broad powers,” a TPU spokesman told the Journal. But actual enforcement of the TPU’s findings lie with the DHCR, which can hold hearings and handle formal appeals.

Since its inception, the TPU has successfully restored 25,000 rent-controlled units to the city’s affordable housing stock. The agency also made waves earlier this month when it served Flatbush landlord Yeshaya Wasserman with a subpoena demanding documents from eight properties he owns, after he was accused of harrassing tenants. [WSJ]Julie Strickland


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Miles Kwok with 781 Fifth Avenue (
Trustee alleges “shell game” over Chinese exile’s UES penthouse
Trustee alleges “shell game” over Chinese exile’s UES penthouse
A photo illustration of Adam Leitman Bailey (far left) and Miki Naftali (right) (Getty Images, Naftali Group, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.)
Naftali tenant suffers blow in holdout battle
Naftali tenant suffers blow in holdout battle
Supreme Court Justice Sabrina Kraus and HRI's Aaron Carr (Twitter, Facebook, Getty)
Ruling could “open the floodgates” on apartment improvement fraud cases
Ruling could “open the floodgates” on apartment improvement fraud cases
From left: Rosenberg & Estis’ Zachary Rothken, RuthAnne Visnauskas, and Belkin Burden Goldman's  Sherwin Belkin (Rosenberg & Estis, BBG, LinkedIn, Getty)
Proposed rent regs lack legal basis: lawyers
Proposed rent regs lack legal basis: lawyers
RuthAnne Visnauskas (Getty)
New rent regulations would squeeze landlords even more
New rent regulations would squeeze landlords even more
From left: Adam Leitman Bailey P.C.'s Steven Wagner; Belkin Burden Goldman's Sherwin Belkin; Adam Leitman Bailey P.C.'s Adam Leitman Bailey; and Naftali Group’s Miki Naftali (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., Belkin Burden Goldman)
Pay up or lawyer up: What does a holdout cost a developer?
Pay up or lawyer up: What does a holdout cost a developer?
Adam Leitman Bailey, Y. David Scharf, and Miki Naftali with 215 West 84th Street (Adam Leitman Bailey, Morrison Cohen, Getty)
Naftali lays out project as holdout tenant plays new card
Naftali lays out project as holdout tenant plays new card
 Miki Naftali and Adam Leitman Bailey (Getty, Adam Leitman Bailey; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Heavyweight lawyers at war in Naftali holdout drama
Heavyweight lawyers at war in Naftali holdout drama
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...