Residents of two Crown Heights apartment buildings say they're being unfairly sued by their new landlords in an attempt to increase rent costs and, in two cases, force tenants to withdraw building complaints filed with the state.
|Katie Toth, the Village Voice|
|Tenants at 285 Schenectady and 1646 Union, here protesting outside Brooklyn Housing Court, are being sued by their new landlord for refusing drastically higher rents.|
Renaissance Realty bought 285 Schenectady Avenue and 1646 Union Street in Crown Heights in early 2014 and is currently suing twelve tenants for failing to sign new leases requiring them to pay drastically higher rent. Meanwhile, tenants are responding that their apartments are barely worth living in — let alone worth, in some cases, more than twice their current monthly rent. Seven of the tenants facing legal action have filed grievances with the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal, demanding rent reductions because of issues like leaking ceilings and rodent problems.
"I was paying $962 a month and the new landlord takes over and he wants me to pay $2,020 a month for the one bedroom," says Betsy Brown, a 28-year resident of 285 Schenectady. "I don't think that's right, so I don't sign the lease and he takes me to court. I think they want to kick us out. Where am I going to go?"More »