An insider s guide to evicting rent-stabilized tenants “Demolition evicti爱上海同城手机版 on, page 23,” RE attorney Michelle Maratto Itkowitz advises landlords
“Careful when you go outside or some tenant group will bust you,” a young real estate professional with a Gordon Gekko-esque hairstyle joked inside the men s room.
“They don’t have to,” a colleague fired back. “They’ve got de Blasio.”
Such was the mood after Michelle Maratto Itkowitz, a well-known landlord attorney, concluded an extraordinary speech titled “Tenant Buyouts — The Next Generation,” at TerraCRG s Only Brooklyn real estate summit Wednesday.
The lecture centered on strategies for how to “de-tenant” occupied and rent-stabilized buildings, a high-stakes issue for multifamily investors in Brooklyn. Itkowitz began with some corny attempts at h上海龙凤论坛sh1f ipster jokes about Urban Outfitters and Williamsburg, including this gem: “Why do hipsters like ice in their drinks so much? Because ice was water before it was cool.”
But she quickly got down to the business of eviction, telling landlords the best way to get tenants out of their buildings is to show the state they plan to knock em down in the first place.
“Things have changed in three years,” Itkowitz said. Tenants understand implicitly, even if they live under a rock, that there is value for owners, developers and managers in recovering rent-stabilized apartments. It’s not a secret anymore.”
Shooing out existing tenants from stabilized and market-rate properties alike has become more difficult with a more organized tenant movement, increased media attention think the Stuyvesant Town debacle and stricter regulation on both the city and state levels. Tenants are now too savvy to succumb to the old tricks of the trade and housing codes have been revised, Itkowitz said. As such, she had three main points for landlords who have still not figured out how to go about “de-tenanting” in the “next generation.”
“No harassment. No frivolous litigation. No supers,” she said, giving examples of how not to operate in a market with heightened tenant protections.
“Obviously, you know, don’t take people’s front doors off, you don’t take people’s things from their apartment,” she said, before detailing some recent amendments to the New York City Housing Maintenance Code that prohibit over-zealous and over-frequent buyout soliciting as well as the use of physical force those things in addition to allowing residents to have doors.
“Anything not nice can be harassment,” Itkowitz said, “and a landlord was just arrested for that.
It was no doubt a reference to Steve Croman, whose “not nice” activities included hiring an ex-cop to intimidate renters and exposing tenants to lead-tainted dust 65 times above the legal limit, according to the civil suit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Beyond direct harassment, Itkowitz said that too many landlords come to her wanting to engage in frivolous litigation, which is also considered harassment in the housing cod[……]