New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into the allegedly illegal tactics used to force rent-stabilized tenants out of their homes implemented by multi-million dollar landlord, Steven Croman.
According to reports, the Attorney General is investigating potential violations of city and state laws, including numerous infractions related to tenant harassment.
This week Schneiderman issued a “cease and desist” order to one of Cromans employees, ex-NYPD officer Anthony Falconite. Tenants allege that Falconite, a private investigator, has engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation in an effort to force them out.
According to recounts by numerous tenants, Croman regularly files frivolous lawsuits, ignores repairs, and resorts to a number of unsavory tactics in an effort to remove current tenants so that he can rent units at much higher rates.
The New York Daily News reported that one specific family, who declined to accept Croman’s buyout offer, was subsequently subjected to a bizarre occurrence not too long after their rejection of his offer.
While the family was away on a trip, someone mysteriously turned up the steam heat in the family’s apartment on July 4, 2014, causing steam to sprawl out from their residence into the building hallways. The heat was so extreme that wine bottles uncorked, a glass cabinet shattered, wood shelves warped and collapsed, plastic melted, and walls bubbled.
Croman’s employees claim that an unnamed “contractor” mistakenly left the boiler on its maximum settings before leaving. However, other residents noted that the superintendant came to the building and turned off the boiler after receiving a barrage of building wide complaints about the unsettling heat.
According to the bewildered residents, Croman has done nothing to make amends. Croman, currently owns approximately 100 residential buildings across Manhattan.
It is important that tenants in rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments know their rights in order to protect themselves against landlords who are willing to utilize illegal methods to force a buyout or eviction. If you or a loved one are facing landlord harassment, contact the experienced landlord-tenant attorneys at Tanya Hobson-Williams P.C. today!