New York settles with companies that allegedly harassed rent-regulated tenants

By Mark Iandolo | May 8, 2017

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced May 4 that he has reached a settlement with several companies controlled by Sassan “Sami” Mahfar and Sina Mahfar.

The defendants own or owned four residential buildings – 22 Spring Street, 102 Norfolk Street, 113 Stanton Street, and 210 Rivington Street – on New York City’s Lower East Side. According to Schneiderman, the defendants illegally harassed rent-regulated tenants. Among the allegations are allegations the defendants allowed dangerous amounts of lead to into the air in the buildings and that they failed to provide essential services like heat and hot water.

“Landlords must not use harassment or subject tenants to unsafe construction to drive rent-stabilized tenants out of their homes," Schneiderman said. "Unfortunately, across the city, unscrupulous landlords look to take advantage of New York’s real estate market at the expense of their rent-regulated tenants – and we won’t hesitate to fight back using all tools at our disposal. But landlords who harass and force their tenants to endure unsafe conditions should also face criminal charges. I call on the legislature to act on my new bill, which would criminalize this type of activity.”

The defendants will pay $175,000 to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. These funds will be used for lead remediation. Additionally, the defendants will pay $50,000 in penalties

Handling the case for New York were Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection chief Jane M. Azia and assistant attorney general Sarah E. Trombley, under the supervision of Manisha M. Sheth, the executive deputy attorney general for economic justice.

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