Brooklyn Landlord Will Pay Grand Putnam Tenants Half A Million For Harassment

CLINTON HILL – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that 82 rent-stabilized tenants will each receive a $6,500 rent credit – part of a settlement with Coastline Real Estate Advisors who repeatedly harassed and deceived their tenants at four buildings in Brooklyn.

Damaged pipes led to the ceiling in the lobby of 425 Grand Avenue to collapse on New Year’s Day.

This is not the first time we are writing about Coastline Real Estate Advisors, who acquired a portfolio of four buildings: 423-427 Grand Avenue; 429-435 Grand Avenue; 27-29 Putnam Avenue; and 88-100 Downing Street around April 2015. Most recently – because a ceiling collapsed in the lobby on New Year’s day of 2018, caused by neglected pipes.

Coastline Real Estate Advisors, prosecutors say, also engaged in “construction harassment, frivolous litigation, and improperly increased the legal regulated rents of rent-stabilized apartments” – yup, tenants agree.

Putnam Grand Tenants Association was established almost as soon as the buildings came under the new management. As soon as Coastline took over management, tenants were sent false notices – from rent owed, to saying their rent stabilized status was expiring in 2018, when it was not expiring till 2033. They were approached with buyouts without proper notice, rents were improperly increased, notices from the Tenants Association were torn down and more, Attorney General found.

“Our resolve to fight for tenants’ rights is unyielding, and we will not permit instances of harassment by landlords to go unchallenged,” said Attorney General James in a statement. “Landlords and management companies are obligated to meet a certain level of service for residents of their properties. Should they fall short of meeting this standard, we will hold them to account and seek reprieve for renters. That’s exactly what we accomplished in this case, holding the landlord responsible for its failures and providing relief to tenants.”

 Under the terms of the settlement, 82 tenants who were in occupancy on or before January 1, 2017 will receive a $6,500 rent credit. The landlord is also required to correct all of the almost two hundred housing code violations in the buildings within 90 days of the settlement, the landlord will lower the legal regulated rents of 33 units in the building and refund overcharges to four tenants, they will also continue to retain a property management company unaffiliated with the owners to manage the property. If you reside at the properties, the settlement documents have all the details, including dates by which you should receive notices and money owed.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Minella under the supervision of Real Estate Finance Bureau (REFB) Bureau Chief Jacqueline Dischell and Chief of the Housing Protection Unit Brent Meltzer. 

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Liena Zagare

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