Thursday, September 15, 2011

Settlement Of Class Action Suit Alleging Landlord Harassment Drove Below-Market-Paying Renters From Homes Leaves Lawyers Happy; Tenants - Not So Much

In New York City, The New York Times reports:

  • A settlement deal has been reached between lawyers for a large New York City landlord and its rent-regulated tenants, who claimed in a class-action lawsuit that they had been subjected to harassment, unlawful rent increases and aggressive eviction attempts during the real estate boom.

  • Under the terms of the deal, the landlord, the Pinnacle Group, will pay $2.5 million to legal and tenant-rights groups to help current and former tenants make legal claims for damages. The $2.5 million is separate from any damage awards. A court-appointed claims administrator will hear the complaints and decide whether to award compensation.

  • The Pinnacle Group, which owns about 15,000 apartment units citywide, must also set up a help line and follow new protocols like carefully notifying tenants of plans to increase rents or start evictions.

  • Tenant advocates and housing experts hailed the settlement deal, which was reached in early August and announced last week, for strengthening tenants’ legal rights in cases claiming harassment and unlawful evictions.


  • Advocates for residents’ and tenants’ rights have long claimed that people in rent-regulated apartments owned by the Pinnacle Group were widely intimidated as part of the owner’s efforts to empty its buildings to make way for higher-paying tenants.


  • News of the deal, which is expected to be completed at a fairness hearing in October, drew mixed reactions from tenants. Bobby Jones, president of the tenant association at Dunbar, a large complex in Harlem that Pinnacle recently lost to foreclosure, said that the deal was “better than nothing,” but that Pinnacle had wrought lasting damage on the place. About 45 percent of Dunbar’s tenants left their homes or were forced out during Pinnacle’s five-year ownership, he said.


  • Kim Powell, a tenant leader at an existing Pinnacle building, said she and other named plaintiffs weretotally disappointedwith the deal. Among the issues it left unclear, she said, was who would be eligible for compensation. “The two attorneys may be happy with it, but we’re not,” Ms. Powell said.

For the story, see Deal Would Settle Tenants’ Harassment Suit.

1 comment:

Arli said...

The fact is this lawsuit is NOT settled. there is a Fairness Hearing at which the judge can kill the deal.

ATTN : Pinnacle tenants.

Want to know where the skeletons are buried? Go to

Check it out.