Landlord to settle with tenants evicted for immigration status

TRD New York /
Jan.January 15, 2014 11:35 AM

Upper West Side-based investment firm Castellan Real Estate Partners is expected to reach a settlement with the state over a probe into whether the firm demanded to see Spanish-speaking tenants’ passports, proof of citizenship and pay stubs as a condition of their tenancy. The firm later evicted tenants who would not comply with their demands, which are prohibited by state law.

After a seven-month investigation, Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to announce the settlement today. The state found that the firm threatened to evict tenants – largely immigrants from Ecuador and Mexico – if they did not comply. Castellan will agree to compensate the tenants it forced to move out.

Castellan, run by Paul and John Sahib, owns 49 rent-stabilized buildings in Washington Heights, Harlem, Brooklyn and South Bronx. If the settlement proceeds as expected, the firm will not admit that it did anything wrong, but will hire an independent monitor for three years and change its practices. It will also form a $100,000 0 fund to pay back the tenants who were “wrongfully removed from their homes,” according to a spokesperson for the Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

It’s likely Castellan’s managers saw the changing demographics of Upper Manhattan, and hoped to fill the spaces vacated by evicted Spanish-speaking tenants with those who would pay higher rents, the News said.

“This settlement serves as a reminder to landlords that there will be real consequences if they try to intimidate their tenants based on their background, citizenship or legal status,” Cuomo said in a statement cited by the New York Daily News. [NYDN]Mark Maurer

Related Articles


The purge continues: WeWork’s head of real estate is leaving

Clockwise from left: 91 Leonard Street, 141 West 11th Street, 520 Park Avenue and 115 Central Park West (Credit: StreetEasy, Google Maps)

These are the latest, greatest residential sales in NYC

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator James Skoufis (Credit: Getty Images, NY Senate)

Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind
LLCs anymore

Sam Chang and 40 West 45th Street (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

Sam Chang can now purchase 160 elite racing pigeons

15 Central Park West and Och-Ziff Capital Management founder Daniel Och (Credit: StreetEasy and Getty Images)

Daniel Och wants $12K a foot for his 15 Central Park West penthouse

Georgina Bloomberg and 101 Central Park West (Credit: Getty Images/StreetEasy/Wikipedia)

Georgina Bloomberg buys another co-op at 101 CPW

Margaret Streicker Porres and 101 West 78th Street (Credit: Linkedin, Corcoran, iStock)

Newcastle Realty was repeatedly accused of violating New York’s old rent laws. Now it says it’s leaving New York because of the new rent law.

The lights of The Hard Rock Cafes marquee are out during Midtown’s Saturday blackout (Credit: Getty Images)

Broadway shows, restaurants see major losses from Midtown’s Saturday blackout