Attorney General Schneiderman Responds to Presentation on How to Evict Rent Stabilized Tenants

Posted on: June 7th, 2016 at 5:12 am by
Rally against Samy Mahfar, April 2015

Rally against Samy Mahfar, April 2015

One particular speech from one real estate attorney caused seismic outrage last week. Michelle Itkowitz had spoken at TerraCRG’s “Only Brooklyn” summit about how to best evict rent regulated tenants from buildings. The presentation was called “Tenant Buyouts — The Next Generation.” Timing of the discussion was appropriate, as slumlords around the city are under the microscope for harassment activities. (e.g. Croman, Mahfar, Shaoul, Singer, Toledano, Kushner.)

In her speech, Itkowitz noted that “demolition evictions” are a quick-and-dirty method to get rid of those pesky rent-regulated tenants. However, Attorney General Schneiderman wants everyone to know that this is flat-out “bogus legal advice.” His spokesperson, Matt Mittenthal, reached out with the following response:

Contrary to Ms. Itkowitz’s bogus legal advice, using ‘demolition evictions’ to de-tenant a building is illegal, and Attorney General Schneiderman has and will continue to use the full force of the law – including bringing criminal charges where appropriate – to crack down on unscrupulous landlords, including those attempting to use ‘demolition evictions’ to improperly force out tenants.

Inside 102 Norfolk during Samy Mahfar's luxury conversion, July 2014

Inside 102 Norfolk during Samy Mahfar’s luxury conversion, July 2014

Meanwhile, in defense of her presentation, Itkowitz essentially told Gothamist last week that the speech was taken out of context:

I represent as many tenants as I do landlords. I always have. I have saved many people’s homes. I currently represent a 75 year old couple in Stuy Town, being unfairly pushed out of their home after 40 years.

A major purpose and theme of my talk [last Wednesday] was to dissuade the development community from harassing tenants, in particular to dissuade them from bringing baseless, frivolous litigation. I encouraged landlords not to lie to tenants. And I was seeking to educate them on the methods that Albany has put in place for rebuilding buildings. Unfortunately, the landlord’s bar isn’t doing that. If you read the piece, you will see that it is VERY useful for tenants. Everything I write always has both “sides” in mind.

Recent Stories

beastie-boys-mtv-2
Watch the Beastie Boys Freestyle Down Orchard Street in 1986 MTV Spot [VIDEO]

Licensed to Ill was the first rap album to reach number one on the Billboard charts. That feat happened thirty years ago, in March 1987, barely four months after its release. Coming off this anniversary, it’s only fitting to revisit this classic MTV plug from 1986. It’s a quick, thirty-second freestyle while walking down what […]

serafina-brunch-closed
Health Department Shutters Serafina Ludlow 4 Months into Operations [UPDATED]

Several local brunch seekers pointed out that the four-month-old Serafina satellite at Ludlow and Rivington Streets was closed for business this weekend. Mysteriously, and without any notice or letter to patrons. Since the main line to the restaurant rang forever, we phoned other Serafina locations for more detail. Apparently there are some ambiguous “issues” to resolve, […]

Rape-suspect
Homeless Man with Lengthy Rap Sheet Arrested for Lower East Side Rape Attempt

The creep behind the attempted rape on the Lower East Side earlier this month has been arrested, police said. The alleged perpetrator is 41-year-old Robert Adames, a homeless man with a lengthy rap sheet. He is accused of following a woman to her home at 139 Norfolk Street just past midnight on midnight March 3, […]

the-john-lamb-closed-1
‘The John Lamb’ Tanks After Six Months in Orchard Street’s Sago Hotel

The John Lamb tanked, and is now permanently out of commission after less than a year. Lights are off and furniture left for dead. We’re told proprietor Joseph Valentine ended operations a week and a half ago. Thus concludes three years of planning – including the potential opening on Essex Street – and a paltry six […]

wrecked-car-2_wm
Here’s the Mangled Car from Fatal Williamsburg Bridge Crash that Killed Amanda Miner on 21st Birthday [PHOTOS]

This is what’s left of the car that killed the birthday girl on the Williamsburg Bridge. Two weeks ago, Amanda Miner, an aspiring social worker who was out celebrating her 21st birthday, died in a horrific crash on the Williamsburg Bridge. Miner had been partying earlier in the evening with the driver, an off-duty traffic […]