“Home should be where you feel you can put your head on your pillow and rest easy. In a time of pandemic, it should be the place you feel most safe”, said NYC Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson. “Today, we’re filing suit to ensure that safety and hold landlords accountable for their illegal and heartless acts. We have the tools to dismantle these egregious schemes and we will aggressively use them.”
“Inflicting additional trauma onto those struggling to stay afloat during a pandemic by threatening eviction without process is not only immoral, but illegal," New York State Attorney General Letitia James said. "No one should fear having their home taken awayat a time when their very life depends on social distancing and staying home; and no one should live in fear of reprisal from their landlord for asserting their lawful rights. Our investigation, working in tandem with the City’s lawsuit, will hold these landlords accountable for any illegal actions and will place other landlords on notice that they will be held accountable for unlawful eviction. "
The City is also working with the New York State Office of the Attorney General, who also have an active investigation into the actions of the Brooks-Church and Gendville.
“In this time of extreme hardship, we’re going to be there for tenants and we’ve made it clear that tenant harassment will not fly under the radar of this Administration,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I thank all of our city and state partners for working together to hold landlords accountable and to protect New York City tenants in the middle of the pandemic, and every other day.”
"Tenants deserve safe, legal housing, and should not be forced from their homes - not now, not ever, and certainly not during a pandemic," said DOB Commissioner Melanie La Rocca. "New Yorkers look out for their neighbors, and that's what we're doing here. We are proud to work alongside our partner agencies to protect the rights of tenants and help to build a fairer city for all."