Court shoots down RSA challenge to state unit that investigated Croman

Landlord group sued to challenge multiple changes to rent stabilization code, including creation of Tenant Protection Unit

New York /
Jun.June 13, 2017 04:00 PM

A state judge dismissed a lawsuit filed three years ago by the Rent Stabilization Association challenging several amendments to the rent stabilization code, including the creation of the special investigative unit that led to the felony charges landlord Steven Croman TRData LogoTINY pleaded guilty to last week.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard Velazquez on Friday handed down his decision, upholding the nearly two dozen code amendments the state division of Homes and Community Renewal passed in 2014.

The RSA and several landlords challenged the rules, which include changes to things like preferential rents and the four-year lookback window DHCR could use when investigating alleged rent overcharges.

One of the more consequential amendments was the creation of the Tenant Protection Unit, which – in addition to probing rent overcharges – investigates claims of tenant harassment and can make criminal referrals.

It was a TPU investigation that led to the criminal fraud charges Croman pleaded guilty to last week. Croman accepted a one-year jail sentence and agreed to pay $5 million in a tax settlement.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who created the TPU, claimed the decision as a victory for renters.

“This ruling upholds the creation of the TPU and additional renter protections advanced by this administration, which is a victory for the more than 2 million rent-regulated tenants across New York. Make no mistake: We will continue to protect tenants and move aggressively against unscrupulous landlords who seek to violate their rights and the law,” Cuomo wrote in a statement.

Attorney Sherwin Belkin, who represented the RSA in its legal challenge, said he was surprised Cuomo limited his remarks to the TPU.

“Certainly, this case goes far beyond the TPU,” he said. “Of course, we’re disappointed with the decision. We believe we raised significant issue of due process and separation of powers . . . and we continue to review the decision.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Steve Croman and 566 Hudson Street (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)
Steve Croman sued over illegally deregulating apartments
Steve Croman sued over illegally deregulating apartments
Blackstone CEO Steven Schwartzman and Stuyvesant Town (Credit: Getty Images)
After authorities vowed review of Stuy Town deal, Blackstone changes course on vacancies
After authorities vowed review of Stuy Town deal, Blackstone changes course on vacancies
Tete-à-tete with TRD: How landlords are dealing with New York’s new rent laws
Tete-à-tete with TRD: How landlords are dealing with New York’s new rent laws
Tete-à-tete with TRD: How landlords are dealing with New York’s new rent laws
Sheldon Silver (Getty; iStock; Photo Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Supreme Court declines to hear Sheldon Silver appeal
Supreme Court declines to hear Sheldon Silver appeal
Risa Heller and Jonathan Rosen launched NY Forever earlier this week. (Risa Heller, Berlin Rosen)
Civic boosterism gets big backing from real estate
Civic boosterism gets big backing from real estate
Lewis Road Residential Planned Development (Pine Barrens, iStock)
Big golf, resi project in East Quogue approved
Big golf, resi project in East Quogue approved
From left: BSA chairwoman Margery Perlmutter, DRAW Brooklyn founder Alexandros Washburn, New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca with renderings of the project (Photos via the City of New York, LinkedIn and Arquitectonica)
How a Red Hook developer circumvented the City Council
How a Red Hook developer circumvented the City Council
The bus terminal was built in the 1950s and designed to serve one fourth of the riders it sees today. (Getty)
Port Authority to raze, replace “hell on earth” bus terminal
Port Authority to raze, replace “hell on earth” bus terminal
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...