More tenants sue Parkoff Organization for alleged J-51 abuse

Suit claims landlord overcharged rent at four NYC properties

Jun.June 07, 2017 12:40 PM

Clockwise from left: 500 West 235th Street, 144 East 22nd Street, Adam Parkoff and 11-19 Seaman Avenue

A group of tenants filed a lawsuit against the Parkoff Organization TRData LogoTINY and affiliated entities, alleging that the landlord overcharged rent and illegally deregulated units at four buildings in Manhattan and the Bronx.

The lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal actions over alleged abuse of the J-51 tax incentive program.

According to the complaint, Parkoff, led by principals Richard and Adam Parkoff, charged market rents for apartments at 144 East 22nd Street and 1-9 and 11-19 Seaman Avenue in Manhattan and 500 West 235th Street in the Bronx even though they should be rent stabilized under the J-51 program. The suit also accuses Parkoff of undertaking “erroneous and undocumented” apartment improvements as a ploy to jack up the rent.

The lawsuit began with an investigation by the nonprofit Housing Rights Initiative. Parkoff representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In 2009, a New York court ruled that buildings receiving the J-51 tax abatement are subject to rent regulation. But the ruling has rarely been enforced, ProPublica reported last year. In January of last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered landlords of J-51 buildings to register their apartments for rent stabilization.

In September, tenants at Parkoff’s 3300 Netherland Avenue in the Bronx sued the landlord for alleged rent overcharges.

“Our affordable housing stock is evaporating, our schools are underfunded, and the MTA is heading off a cliff,” HRI’s Aaron Carr said in a statement Wednesday. “We implore the government to take away tax breaks from tax cheats and fix our city.”

(To view more properties owned by the Parkoff Organization, click here)

Related Articles

(Illustration by Dave Murray)

The squeeze on resi brokerages is forcing consolidation, cooperation

From left: 55 East 74th Street, 9 East 82nd Street, 1 Central Park South, 78 Irving Place with Adam Neumann and 111 West 57th Street (Credit: StreetEasy, Wikipedia, Getty Images)

Adam Neumann’s triplex, Russians’ Plaza pad were priciest homes listed last week

3 East 69th Street and 252 East 57th Street 

With asking prices in freefall, luxury market sees strong week

Keller Williams CEO Gary Keller

Keller Williams will cut off agents who leave

Wall Street bonus season is the stuff home sellers’ dreams, as they picture eager buyers armed with hefty bonus checks and willing to pay top price. But in a buyer’s market that vision may be more like a mirage (Credit: iStock)

Here’s what Wall Street bonus season means for real estate this year

Adam Neumann and 78 Irving Place (Credit: Getty Images and StreetEasy)

Adam Neumann is asking $37M for Gramercy Park triplex

(Credit: iStock)

Residential rents continue upward march in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens

Redfin's Glenn Kelman (Credit: iStock)

“It’s on like Donkey Kong”: Redfin scrambling to keep up with iBuyer demand