The Real Deal New York

City Skyline Realty threatened to call
Child Protective Services on rent-stabilized tenants, lawsuit says

Suit accuses landlord of using intimidation and threats to try forcing out tenants
By Eddie Small | October 26, 2018 05:00PM

An illustration of a threatening person and 505 West 135th Street (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

Tenants of three rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem are suing their landlord for allegedly threatening them with losing custody of their children.

Plaintiffs Reyna Reyes, Aida Salustio and Alicia Garcia are all tenants at 505 West 135th Street in Harlem, which is managed by City Skyline Real Estate, according to the lawsuit. The tenants maintain that City Skyline, led by Douglas Peterson, has been trying to get them to move out by intimidating and threatening them, including saying they will lodge complaints against them with Child Protective Services that could cause them to lose their children.

The landlord, which controls the property through an LLC, also conducts “unwarranted and unplanned inspections” of their apartments and does not take good care of the units, which have suffered from issues including roach infestations, water leaks and chipping paint, the lawsuit says.

Reyes, Salustio and Garcia are demanding a jury trial on all issues they cite in the lawsuit and civil penalties of between $1,000 and $5,000 for each of their apartments.

City Skyline and Lewis Greenwald, attorney for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Skyline purchased the building in May for about $7.2 million, according to property records. The company also bought a six-story 28-unit Harlem rental building at 51 Hamilton Place that month for about $10 million.