Another city landlord hit with rent deregulation suit

The latest in a string of tenant-led lawsuits charging landlords with illegal rent-deregulation has hit 444 East 82nd Street. Half of the 415 units in Clermont York Associates’ building are market rate, despite the fact that the owners raised rents on those units while receiving tax breaks from the city for renovations, said law firm Himmelstein McConnell Gribben Donoghue & Joseph, which filed the suit today. The suit is among a growing number of battles over rent deregulation that have been sprouting up in the wake of an October ruling handed down to owners of the massive Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex by the New York State Court of Appeals. The court’s decision said that landlord Tishman Speyer should not have destabilized rents in thousands of apartments while receiving the city’s J-51 tax benefits for building upgrades. Tishman Speyer, which has since handed the debt-laden property over to its creditors, was estimated to owe $200 million in back rent to tenants following the case. Last week, tenants at Lenox Terrace in Harlem filed a similar suit against their landlord, who could owe between $400,000 and $6 million, their lawyers said. [Crain’s]

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