The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn landlords sought white tenants: suit

Lawsuit alleges racial discrimination against black residents at East Flatbush buildings
April 15, 2014 05:30PM

A new lawsuit charges the owners of two Brooklyn rental complexes with pushing out black tenants in an effort to bring in white residents.

According to the suit, filed by tenants at Complexes On Brooklyn Avenue And Hawthorne Street in East Flatbush, landlords Yeshaya Wasserman, Shay Wasserman and Yitzchok Rambod have ignored repair requests, offered cash buyouts and forced evictions since purchasing the buildings in 2009. White tenants who do not live in rent-controlled units, meanwhile, are not subjected to the same treatment, the plaintiffs allege.

In addition to the shoddy repairs, the landlords showed a “persistent refusal” to cash rent checks or deliver front door keys to black tenants, according to the suit.

The suit also charges that white tenants are hit with only minimal rent increases when their leases expire, while black tenants are slapped with double-digit hikes.

“Entirely lacking a rational business justification, this course of conduct is blatantly designed to ambush black tenants who have lived in the apartments for years paying affordable rents and force them out, thus enabling defendants to re-rent the apartment to white tenants,” the suit says.

Representatives for the landlords did not immediately return the Post’s calls seeking comment. [NYP]Julie Strickland