Yesterday afternoon, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement in the civil case against controversial landlord Steven Croman for “engaging in illegal conduct, including harassment, coercion, and fraud, to force rent-regulated tenants out of their apartments and convert their apartments into highly profitable market-rate units.”
The consent decree requires Croman to fork over $8 million into a Tenant Restitution Fund – the largest-ever monetary settlement with an individual landlord. Moreover, the settlement forces an independent management company, without ties to Croman, to run more than 100 Croman residential properties around the city for the next five years.
Details of who can claim a piece of the proverbial pie…
Eligible tenants will be able to apply for restitution; the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will announce details of a claims process early next year. Tenants will be eligible for restitution if they are or were a tenant in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment owned by Croman between July 1, 2011 and the date of the agreement (December 20, 2017); they received a buyout of less than $20,000, not including any amount that purported to cover rent or arrears; and no other tenant in their apartment received money from the restitution fund.
Croman is currently serving one year on Riker’s Island, and paid a separate $5 million settlement as a result of criminal charges brought by Schneiderman.
“New Yorkers are already struggling with high rents,” Schneiderman stated in a press release. “We have zero tolerance for those who try to boost their bottom line by disregarding the welfare of their tenants. My office will continue to ensure that all landlords play by the rules, and aggressively pursue anyone who doesn’t to the fullest extent of the law.”
This latest is clear indication that Croman is the example for the other bad actors out there.
Below is the full consent decree: