Imagine being without heat and hot water. Or putting up with unnecessary construction that caused dangerous levels of lead dust in your apartment. Why? Because your landlord wanted you out so he could charge new tenants higher rent.
This is what happened to tenants in a Brooklyn building owned by Daniel Melamed. Melamed is a real estate developer and landlord who faced charges of grand larceny, residential mortgage fraud and forgery. He plead guilty to the charges and spent 20 days in jail. In addition, he cannot sell or purchase rent-regulated buildings in Brooklyn during his five-year probation.
Melamed also had to pay $200,000 in restitution, half of which went to his tenants. But is this enough punishment? A 20-day sentence does not make up for the months he spent illegally harassing his tenants.
And this was not Melamed’s first time facing criminal charges. In November 2017, he faced other fraud charges for illegally using a shell company to buy a property.
You do not have to put up with landlord harassment
It is very common for landlords of rent-regulated buildings to attempt to force tenants out. It is also illegal. If you are facing this problem in your building, you can get help. Tenants’ rights attorneys know how to protect the rights of people living with landlord harassment. You don’t have to suffer through this alone.