Legal Aid Society settles lawsuit against landlord accused of discrimination
The Legal Aid Society announced on Friday that it has settled a federal lawsuit against a Sunset Park landlord, many of whose tenants lived in rent-stabilized apartments, who was accused of discrimination and harassment.
“In today’s increasingly anti-immigrant climate, we are proud to stand with these tenants to fight for their basic rights” said Sunny Noh, supervising attorney of the Tenant Rights Coalition at The Legal Aid Society. “This settlement delivers justice for these tenants and puts landlords across New York City on notice that this type of aggression will never be tolerated.”
Legal Aid attorneys had filed a class action suit that alleged that Adel and Linda Eskander, of Little City Realty LLC and Little Boy Realty LLC, engaged in discriminatory practices against Latino tenants by use of fear, intimidation and displacement.
The conduct allegedly led to displacement of tenants, the illegal deregulation of apartments and the loss of affordable housing.
The Eskanders allegedly did this through baseless eviction proceedings against Latino tenants, and were known to ask tenants to provide immigration documentation when they renewed their leases, according to court documents.
As per the terms of the settlement, the Eskanders are no longer allowed to use lease riders that ask for proof of citizenship. They must re-register the deregulated apartments as rent-stabilized, must decrease rents by between 4 and 20 percent, and must institute rent freezes in vacant apartments for three years.
They must also employ a management company to operate the buildings that will be approved by the tenants and Legal Aid as well as undergo a fair housing training program.
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