‘Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force’ Collars First Landlord for Endangering Rent Regulated Tenants
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Landlord Daniel Melamed was arrested for harassing tenants
Are tenants finally getting a leg up on landlords with a penchant for harassment? It’s possible.
Four months after its press-friendly debut, the much-ballyhooed Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force collared its first bad landlord. It’s a building owner in Crown Heights. Charges were brought against Daniel Melamed for endangering the health and safety of tenants at 1578 Union Street in Brooklyn; his engineer Pirooz Soltanizadeh was also indicted.
So the bureaucratic construct actually has teeth, after all…
It’s clear that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to make an example of Melamed (“if you harass intimidate or jeopardize the health and safety of your tenants, we will come after you with the full force of the law”). His is the first arrest as a result of the Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force. Indictment was based on tactics such as allegedly shutting heat, lead dust exposure of 88 times the permissable threshold, and unlawfully destroying interior walls and common spaces in the building.
Below is the press release from Attorney General Schneiderman:
Today’s charges send a strong message to landlords across New York City: if you harass, intimidate, or jeopardize the health and safety of your tenants, we will come after you with the full force of the law. Our task force is working hard to identify, investigate, and prosecute the worst landlords in this city. I look forward to continue working with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and my many other colleagues in government to continue the task force’s work on behalf of all New York City residents.