Argo Real Estate illegally pushed out rent-stabilized tenants in Queens: lawsuit

Suit argues landlord illegally removed 369 apartments from stabilization

Briarwood, Queens
Briarwood, Queens

Argo Real Estate illegally deregulated 369 rent-stabilized apartments in the Briarwood neighborhood of Queens, despite receiving a tax break requiring that they be leased at below-market rate rents, according to a new lawsuit.

The suit claims that Argo did this to apartments across nine buildings in Briarwood while receiving the J-51 tax break, which requires every unit in a building benefiting from it to be rent stabilized, according to Politico. Despite this, the company sent leases to tenants saying their units would stop being covered by the state’s rent-stabilization law and then raised rents at the buildings, tenants allege.

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Argo received tax benefits for the nine buildings totaling more than $1.4 million, according to nonprofit advocacy group Housing Rights Initiative.

The Jack Parker Corporation and the Scharfman Organization have recently faced lawsuits over the J-51 program as well. [Politico]Eddie Small