Attorney general puts “tenant relocator” out of business

Schneiderman claims Michel Pimienta harassed residents of rent-stablized apartments
October 27, 2014 11:25AM

In an effort to eradicate so-called “tenant relocators,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached the first agreement in his effort to end the practice of booting long-term residents out of their rent stabilized units.

Michel Pimienta — who, among other things, allegedly threatened tenants with eviction for a decade and accused them of illegal subletting — will have to stop the relocation efforts. As part of his agreement with the AG, Pimienta will also pay a $40,000 fine.

“This agreement will help ensure that lawful tenants are not harassed or pressured into giving up their homes by an unlicensed and unscrupulous tenant relocator,” Schneiderman said, according to the New York Daily News.

According to the Attorney General, tenant relocators like Pimienta are becoming more common in neighborhoods with a high percentage of rent-stabilized units where landlords are looking to gentrify. Pimienta was allegedly active in a number of neighborhoods,  including the Lower East Side and Gowanus. He also allegedly operated illegally without the required brokers license in more than 60 rent-regulated buildings across the city.

Pimienta himself lives in a Midtown high-rise with luxurious amenities, the newspaper reported. He neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing in the settlement with Schneiderman.[NYDN] — Claire Moses