Crown Heights landlord charged with illegally booting rent-stabilized tenants

Daniel Melamed accused of turning off heat in winter and exposing tenants to lead dust

1578 Union Street in Crown Heights (inset: Eric Schneiderman)
1578 Union Street in Crown Heights (inset: Eric Schneiderman)

A Brooklyn landlord is expected to be arrested Wednesday under suspicion that he worked to illegally evict rent-stabilized tenants from his 14-unit Crown Heights building by starting demolition and shutting their heat off in the winter.

Daniel Melamed owns and manages seven buildings in the city, Crain’s reported. He is accused of turning off the heat in below-freezing temperatures, destroying interior walls and common spaces while tenants were still in the building, and endangering a child.

Melamed also allegedly submitted false documents to the city’s Department of Buildings claiming that the building, at 1578 Union Street, was empty so that he would not have to create a plan for protecting tenants during construction.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman planned to hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the charges. The arrest is the first to come from their joint task force, launched in February, which is aimed at inspecting properties with tenant harassment complaints.

Earlier this week, the city’s rent regulations expired, and lawmakers are still working to come to a new agreement. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann