The Real Deal New York

Bushwick reps: seize property of serial code violaters

Velazquez, Reynoso seek to crack down on landlords who sabotage their own buildings
March 20, 2014 03:30PM

Bushwick representatives and residents, riled over a landlord who destroyed his own tenements to force rent-stabilized tenants to move, are calling for the city to institute harsher laws against the tactic.

Advocates want the city to seize properties of landlords who have racked up code violations — rather than just fining them.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, along with several community groups, are leading the push. Their concern is due to a spike in the number of incidents where owners of rent-stabilized buildings sabotage apartments or utilities to make living conditions unbearable, and thus drive tenants out — all in a bid to get the full market-rate for the spaces.

In one instance, a landlord who owns a total of 19 buildings in New York reportedly took an ax to the heating and electricity units in a building in Greenpoint, allegedly forcing tenants to vacate the property.

“It is unconscionable in the city of New York, which is the financial capital of the world, that we would allow what this landlord is doing to these tenants,” Velazquez told the paper. To date, Israel has been fined less than $2,500 for violations at his buildings. [Brooklyn Paper] Angela Hunt

  • Sh!t My Tenants Say

    Not saying they were in the right, hey should be punished accordingly…. But what about looking at the cause (staggering discrepancies of an artificial system that needs to be reworked for the modern age), rather than the effects…

  • why only rent stabilized?

    who besides Joel Israel and that Neelis woman who got videotaped are actually deserving of this kind of characterization. This law will empower a sort of eminent domain taking and it will encourage a united market and regulated tenant front to claim that damage in their units were caused by the owner. This is too much power just like the Obamacare law that allows the government to go into our bank accounts.

  • why only rent stabilized?

    Just arrest Joel Israel and leave the rest of us alone.

  • JohnACritic

    Greed and the burning desire for money has no conscience. Whether it Wall St. bankers and brokers or unscrupulous landlords, its all the same.

    • ozdragon

      and then there are the politicians who demand pay-off, from real estate owners and developers, in the form of campaign contributions and jobs for their relative.