Cahill & Legal Aid Achieve Positive Resolution for Tenants
Cahill was co-counsel with the Legal Aid Society in a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against Little City Realty LLC and Little Boy Realty LLC, operated by Adel and Linda Eskander, on behalf of tenants at two buildings in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The class action complaint alleged that for over a decade, the Eskanders had engaged in discriminatory practices against Latino tenants, many of whom were long-term, rent-stabilized tenants, causing fear, intimidation, and displacement, and consequently reducing the local stock of affordable housing units.
The complaint alleged the landlord’s tactics included bringing baseless eviction proceedings, subjecting residents to derogatory and offensive statements, and demanding that tenants provide immigration documentation upon renewing their leases. The tenants claimed that the landlords’ behavior was in violation of city, state, and federal laws including the New York City Human Rights Law, the New York City Housing Maintenance Code, Rent Stabilization Law and Code, and the federal Fair Housing Act. The matter was litigated to a successful settlement. In the settlement, the Eskanders agreed to: (1) discontinue using discriminatory lease riders that ask for citizenship status; (2) re-register the deregulated apartments as rent-stabilized; (3) decrease rents charged between 4% and 20%; (4) freeze rents at vacancy for 3 years; (5) employ a management company approved by the tenants and Legal Aid to operate the buildings; and (6) undergo Fair Housing trainings. Cahill attorneys that worked on the matter are Samantha Lawson, Caroline Saucier, Celia Belmonte, Courtney LaHaie, John Spagna, and Landis Best.