Developing Story: Some Tenants Could Face Lockout Tomorrow At 415 East 16th Street

(Photo by Joe Strini / PropertyShark)
(Photo by Joe Strini / PropertyShark)

Today, we received an email from a concerned tenant regarding a notice about new locks in their apartment building tomorrow and a potential lockout for people in the building.

The sign at 415 East 16th Street between Cortelyou and Dorchester Roads, states that the management company is mandating every adult tenant to obtain a new key using a photo ID, by traveling to their Kings Highway offices during work hours only — and until 9pm today. We do not know how long these signs have been posted at the building.

The sign reads as follows:


Tenants were given four listed days to pick up their key with a photo ID, or face a lockout by 6pm on Friday, December 9, with no keys given out by the super, according to the sign.

There are additional stipulations on the keys, including immediate deactivation if used by anyone other than the pictured resident, and that no person under the age of 13 can have one.

This mandate has serious consequences for working parents and their children, non-English speakers (who can’t read the sign), subletters, and others who are unable to travel to the Kings Highway office during the week. One resident, who saw the sign because it was posted in the elevator, says the majority of the building’s tenants are Spanish-speakers who have lived in the building for many years — but this person didn’t see a Spanish translation.

The 6-floor, 54-unit rent stabilized apartment building is listed as a recipient of the J-51 property tax exemption and abatement program for renovating a residential apartment building, according to PropertyShark.

An anonymous neighbor also said that the building’s front door has been broken for many years, and even though the door was replaced by a heavy “fancy” door, it still remains unlocked.

But in general, tenants cannot legally be locked out of their apartments, and tenants who are locked out tomorrow should see if they can file an illegal lock out petition in housing court, said a source at Brooklyn Legal Services. We are still trying to determine if it is legal to lock tenants out of the front door of the building.

We have reached out to housing legal experts, the management company, and tenants — but this is all we know right now. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

If you are a resident of this building or have comments, please reach out to

Resources for tenants:

Tenants who are locked out can call Brooklyn Legal Services at 718-237-5500 or call Flatbush Tenant Coalition at 718-635-2623.

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  1. This is one of many ways landlords harass tenants — charging for keys, trying to sniff out how many people live in an apt, whether they are the lease holders, etc. Whether or not it’s technically “legal”, it’s harassment all the same. And locking people out without a court order is definitely illegal. If that happens, go directly to Housing Court at 141 Livingston, 2nd Floor and tell them you were illegally locked out! Then immediately call Brooklyn Legal Services at 718.237.5500. Call us at 718.635.2623 or email at

  2. Thanks for the info, Flatbush Tenant Coalition. We’ll add those phone numbers to the bottom of the article.

  3. Probably trying to crack down on illegal subleasing. I don’t know any adult that does not have a photo ID. I would be very surprised if the landlord did not try to accommodate people getting a key earlier if they were unavailable for some reason this week. I’d like to know more to the story about what goes on in that building. It’d be great to get both sides so we can judge.

  4. I don’t see how this is legal. If I am a resident of the property, I should have the right to give my key to someone I want to enter the apartment, for instance a pet-sitter, nanny, or visiting guest. This whole things reeks of shenanigans.

  5. I always read your posts because they are usually right on target. However , to suggest that adults have a photo ID is contrary to the principles of our government mandating a national ID for its citizens. However,. non citizens. may be required to have a photo ID as per our immigration regulations and laws. You need to take a step back and reflect upon your comment that you you do not know any adult that does not have a photo ID. You may not know of such adults, but i am sure they are out there. This whole ID government issuance required for its citizens is an anathema to your country. Your comment is reflective as to why everything in this country is tops turvy. Do not make any excuse to validate a wrong by eliminating a Constitutional guarantee barring its citizens from carrying around a photo ID.

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