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Sunset Park landlords settle lawsuit alleging discriminating, illegal rent deregulation

The landlords tried to push out Latino tenants, the lawsuit said.

The landlords of two Sunset Park buildings settled

The landlords of two Sunset Park buildings settled a lawsuit alleging discrimination against Latino tenants. Photo Credit: Google Maps

The Sunset Park landlords who were accused of discriminating against Latino tenants settled a class action lawsuit on Friday.

Adel and Linda Eskander, the landlords of 601 40th St. and 614 40th St., forced Latino tenants to prove their legal status in order to renew their leases, brought “frivolous eviction proceedings” against them and told them they wanted only white tenants, according to the lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Society in January.

The landlords also neglected maintenance problems, including frequent heat and hot water outages, electricity outages, cockroach infestations and leaks, and when they succeeded in pushing out tenants, they illegally deregulated the apartments, according to the lawsuit.

“This settlement delivers justice for these tenants and puts landlords across New York City on notice that this type of aggression will never be tolerated,” Sunny Noh, the supervising attorney of the Tenant Rights Coalition at Legal Aid Society, said in a statement.

In agreeing to the settlement, the Eskanders have committed to the following:

  • Stop asking for citizenship status at lease signings or renewals
  • Re-register the deregulated apartments as rent stabilized
  • Decrease current rents between 4 and 20 percent
  • Stop deliberately interrupting, delaying or discontinuing essential services in the building
  • Keep repair tickets submitted by tenants for three years and provide copies to Legal Aid upon request
  • Post signs explaining the anti-discrimination policy in English and Spanish on each floor in each building
  • Employ a management company approved by the tenants and Legal Aid to operate the buildings
  • Undergo Fair Housing trainings

An attorney for the Eskanders did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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