Schneiderman announces settlement with New York City landlord accused of harassing rent-stabilized tenants across two boroughs. On September 27, 2017, New York State Attorney General Eric. T. Schneiderman announced that a settlement had been reached between the State and ICON Realty Management. ICON owns several rent-regulated buildings in the East Village, the Lower East Side, and Brooklyn. The Attorney General alleged that ICON had engaged in illegal methods to harass rent-regulated tenants, including dangerous construction work and failing to provide essential services.
According to the Attorney General, on multiple occasions ICON failed to obtain Department of Buildings work permits, performed construction outside the scope of permits issued, and failed to appropriately clean or maintain the construction work areas. The Attorney General also alleged that ICON ignored tenants’ requests for repairs, failed to timely correct housing and building code violations, and subjected tenants to long-lasting interruptions of heat, hot water, and cooking gas services.
The settlement requires ICON to adopt policies and procedures to prevent future violations and safety risks. ICON will also be required to correct outstanding code violations and to provide rent abatements to tenants during disruptions of essential services. An independent monitor will be appointed to monitor ICON’s compliance with the agreement.
ICON will also be required to pay $300,000 to the State of New York, and $200,000 in penalties fees and costs to the City’s Departments of Housing Preservation and Development, and Buildings.
“Unscrupulous landlords should be on notice: we’ll use every legal tool at our disposal to protect New York’s tenants,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Too often, bad landlords see rent-regulated apartments as a goldmine – looking to make a quick buck by using construction to harass tenants out of their homes. No New Yorker should have to fear for their health or their safety in their own home. This settlement marks another win for New York’s tenants as our Task Force continues to protect their rights and hold landlords accountable.”
“This settlement agreement makes it clear that we have zero tolerance for a landlord’s illegal and harmful construction that exposes tenants to harassing and hazardous living conditions. I am proud of the TPU and all the work we’ve accomplished with the Task Force to protect rent-regulated tenants from predatory and abusive landlords. New Yorkers have the right to safe decent homes that do not jeopardize their health and safety,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
“Property owners in this City have a clear legal responsibility to their tenants and those duties were repeatedly violated by this company. We will continue to work hand in glove with our law enforcement partners to protect New York tenants and punish deadbeat landlords,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).