New York Attorney General Letitia James, along with tenant rights advocates, announced a $1.75 million settlement with Ink Property Group on Friday.
The announcement comes at a time when accountability to the city’s predatory landlords has reached a boiling point for tenants.
“They illegally bought out renters and repeatedly harassed and threatened those who refused to leave their homes,” James said. “They offered money to employees to evict tenants.”
Ink Property Group owns and manages a total of 44 multifamily homes in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. Their buildings have an average of 1,000 violations, including those considered unsafe.
As part of the settlement, Ink must pay the harassed tenant $400,000. Longtime tenants forced to live in unsafe conditions as a result of construction will also be paid $2,500. In addition, 80 buildings will be revived due to stable rents.
Non-profit organizations such as St. Nick’s Alliance can offer support to tenants in similar situations, warning tenants to look out for red flags.
A St.Nix spokesperson said, “If a landlord offers money to move out, you decline, and the person continues to offer it to you, it is considered harassment.”
Tenants who believe their apartment may have been illegally destabilized should contact the New York State Department of Housing and Community Rehabilitation.