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State Tenant Protection Unit Investigating Marolda Properties

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7 Rivington St.
7 Rivington St.

Governor Cuomo’s office today announced the state’s Tenant Protection Unit has served a subpoena on Marolda Properties, a firm that owns many buildings throughout New York City, including some on the Lower East Side and in Chinatown. According to a news release, the subpoena is part of a wide-ranging investigation of tenant harassment and “allegations of trying to exploit Asian-American tenants by forcing them out of their rent-regulated apartments.”

Marolda owns about 70 buildings throughout the city and in Westchester County.  The company recently acquired several more buildings on the LES.  Tenants have accused Marolda of using a variety of unlawful and unethical tactics to drive them from their homes, including refusing to renew leases, initiating inappropriate eviction proceedings and pressuring tenants to accept low buyout offers. More from the news release:

…the Tenant Protection Unit interviewed tenants who had been told that they were in violation of their leases because their primary residency was elsewhere, without any factual basis. Using common surnames as a basis to tie a tenant to another address, Marolda allegedly targeted individuals and families for eviction, though they have lived exclusively in their apartments for decades. In one case, the preliminary investigation revealed that Marolda refused to renew a tenant’s lease, threatening to evict a woman in her mid-eighties claiming that she had not been seen at the building and was not a resident there. Marolda’s claim of the senior’s non-residency was belied by clear evidence that she is a legitimate and active member of a community senior center and local religious organization, and has lived in the apartment for over 40 years. In another similar case, Marolda summoned a family to housing court to claim that the family’s primary residency was elsewhere, despite the fact that the family has lived in the apartment for decades, has young children attending a neighborhood school, and has no links to another address.

The state agency coordinated its efforts with several non-profit organizations, including CAAAV, MFY Legal Services, Asian Americans for Equality, University Settlement and the Cooper Square Committee. Local elected officials were quoted in the governor’s press release, praising the investigation.  Specific buildings were not referenced. Earlier this summer, MFY Legal Services filed a federal lawsuit against Marolda on behalf of two elderly residents at 7 Rivington St. (see above photo).

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Yes, I live in this building and its true. One guy whose lived here for years told me that he tried to drop off his rent check at the management office and they refused to take it as they said it was one day late, which is BS as they would take and cash mine if it was 2 weeks late. He speaks barely any english and I advised his son to call tenants association. They bought or kicked out another family upstairs and tried to do that with others. I believe they blamed them for bedbugs and harassed them till they left.

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