Landlord Steve Croman is facing criminal and civil suits for charges that include mortgage fraud, grand larceny, tax fraud, failure to pay a settlement to tenants and tenant harassment. At a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing on June 21, 2016, a coalition of his tenants rallied outside the courthouse raising awareness of the harassment they have suffered.
One Croman tenant says it has been almost a year since he had cooking gas and months since his apartment had heat. He has also suffered harassment by Croman that includes illegal rent increases and being served with frivolous lawsuits. Another tenant claims to have endured dangerous living conditions due to renovations in his building.
The New York attorney general has been investigating Croman for two years. He owns more than 140 Manhattan buildings, and tenants in many of his buildings have been trying for several years to bring charges against him. They are relieved that he is finally being held accountable for the alleged violations.
Know your rights regarding tenant harassment
Landlords are prohibited from engaging in all types of tenant harassment, including:
- Illegally raising the rent or overcharging a rent-regulated tenant
- Illegal eviction
- Using unlawful buyout tactics
- Using intimidation and threats
- Refusing to make necessary repairs or provide necessary utilities
- Causing dangerous living conditions due to illegal construction
Over the years, HMGDJ has successfully represented many tenants of Croman buildings. You can seek legal help if your landlord is breaking the law or harassing you. If you are experiencing tenant harassment or issues such as housing code violations or Housing Court problems, you may wish to speak with a tenants’ rights attorney. Learning your rights from an attorney who only represents tenants is one way to ensure you understand your options.