It is not an unusual story in Brooklyn or anywhere in New York City. The tenants of a building have problems with the landlord or management. They claim that there is damage to the building, that there are unsafe conditions and that their complaints to the landlord are ignored.
In the circumstance of a rent-stabilized building, they may claim that the landlord is attempting to force them to “voluntarily” surrender their leases so that the rent-stabilization can be ended and the property can be rented at higher current market rates.
In a recent case, they complain that a stairway is unsafe, as it lacks a railing and that they had a plumbing leak that began on the sixth floor and ran down to the first floor. An assemblyman states the landlord has “viciously harassed” the residents in an effort to force them from the building.
This would not be the first time a landlord has attempted to drive tenants from a building in the expectation of being able to increase their revenue from the property. Landlords do have obligations to maintain their property.
Tenants do have certain legal protections in rent-stabilized buildings and speaking with an attorney first before taking any action on your own can help ensure that your actions are lawful and will avoid claims that you breached your lease.
While you can file a complaint with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), the regulations and forms can be complicated to deal with and an attorney can quickly identify your potential options and help with obtaining a remedy.
Some landlords are merely slow and unresponsive to tenant complaints while others may be attempting to force tenants out of a building.
Source: newyork.cbslocal.com, “Tenants Of Rent-Stabilized Apartment In Brooklyn Outraged Over Management,” Carol D’Auria, March 5, 2016