Bronx Landlord Who Got Millions In Tax Breaks Sued For Illegally Raising Rents

Tenants in a Bronx low-income building that has received almost $3.2 million in 421-a tax breaks are suing their landlord, accusing it of charging more than $80,000 in illegal rent increases.
News Story (New York)

Steven Wishnia
Village Voice (NY)
May 26, 2017

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Tax-exempt Bonds

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services NYC (LSNYC)


The apartments must remain rent-stabilized for the 25-year duration of the 421-a tax break, says Kulsoom Ijaz, a lawyer for Bronx Legal Services, which is representing the twelve tenants. The 2007 agreement with HPD prohibited the landlord from raising rents by more than the annual increases allowed by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board — specifically barring the 20 percent increase on vacant apartments normally allowed under rent-stabilization rules.

Instead, the suit alleges, Ogden Avenue LP regularly raised rents on vacant apartments, such as a 24 percent increase on a two-bedroom apartment in 2010 when the maximum set by the Rent Guidelines Board was 6 percent for a two-year lease. The result, the suit says, is that the current rent is now $1,075 instead of $922, with accumulated overcharges of more than $12,000.