In early July of this year, Brooks-Church and Gendville attempted to evict their tenants at 1214 Dean Street. The city alleges they evicted at least four tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is against the law.
The City’s Law Department sent a Cease and Desist letter to the landlords on July 10th, and today sued them seeking civil penalties for violations of the NYC Unlawful Eviction Law, a finding of Tenant Harassment against defendants, correction of construction code violations that include unpermitted construction and illegal conversion, and civil penalties for those violations, the city announced in a press release.
The City’s goal is to make an example of the landlords, so “that other landlords think twice before illegally displacing tenants.” The Unlawful Eviction Law allows the City to sue on behalf of tenants where tenants are unable to.
“Today, we’re filing suit to ensure that safety and hold landlords accountable for their illegal and heartless acts,” NYC Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson said. “We have the tools to dismantle these egregious schemes and we will aggressively use them.”
“This Administration will not tolerate landlords who illegally evict and harass tenants out of their homes, and we will take forceful action like today’s lawsuit to make that very clear,” said Ricardo Martínez Campos, Deputy Director for the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. “For landlords who think they can rely on these tactics and make them part of their business model, know that you are on notice, and we will not hesitate to bring you to Court.”