Unlicensed tenant relocator Misidor LLC and company owner Michel Pimienta will cease all operations in New York following a recent agreement with Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
Schneiderman's office received a number of complaints from tenants in rent-controlled apartments who alleged that they were being bullied out of their homes by Pimienta's company, which was operating illegally out of more than 60 buildings in the state.
Investors and property owners who want to raise rents in rent-controlled buildings in New York can legally hire licensed tenant relocators who have real estate licenses. Pimienta did not have a real estate license.
“My office is committed to ensuring that no one — no matter how rich or well connected — stands above the law and that everyone plays by the same rules," Schneiderman said. "We will continue to take action against those who use illegal tactics in attempting to force rent-regulated tenants out of their homes so they can raise rents."
Pimienta allegedly harassed tenants by saying they had violated their lease agreements and threatened eviction. He also allegedly pressured tenants in buildings undergoing renovations to give up their leases by saying the units were unsafe and made repeated buyout offers even after tenants said they were not interested. In some cases, he was alleged to have followed tenants to their workplaces where he interrogated their coworkers.
“This agreement will help ensure that lawful tenants are not harassed or pressured into giving up their homes by an unlicensed and unscrupulous tenant relocator," Schneiderman said.