Owner of SRO Denied Certificate

107 West 122nd Street, Manhattan. Image Credit: CityLaw.

Owner of Manhattan brownstone sought to convert a single room occupancy building. Nicole and Clinton Simpson own a single non-occupancy building located at 107 West 122nd Street in Manhattan. The Simpsons purchased the building in September 2016 from the prior owner, who had owned the building from 2007-2016. The Simpsons applied to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for a certificate of no harassment, a requirement which must be satisfied before the owner can obtain building permits needed to alter the structure.

HPD denied the certificate of no harassment application, stating that the occupants at the premises had been harassed beginning in February 2015 by the prior owner. HPD charged that the prior owner had misrepresented information about the occupants’ rights in the buyout agreements and offered occupants compensation to induce them to vacate without disclosing certain required language.

The Simpson’s appealed. OATH Administrative Law Judge John B. Spooner upheld HPD’s denial of a Certificate of No Harassment. ALJ. Spooner found that the evidence supported HPD’s conclusion that the occupants had been harassed by the previous owner’s inaccurate representations as to their tenancy rights in order to cause them to vacate.

Dep’t of Hous. Pres. & Dev. v. Simpson, OATH Index No. 2062/18 (Sept. 5, 2018).


By: Kalliopi Theodorakis (Kalliopi is a New York Law School student, Class of 2019.)

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