The imagery spotlighting an entrenched reality of the New York City housing universe is both stark and vivid. A recent article in a national publication references "predatory developers encircling [tenants'] neighborhoods." It couples that language by noting a new tool serving as a "preemptive strike" that besieged renters can employ to combat landlords' vulture-like conduct that threatens housing affordability and security.
Class Action law suits allow claims to be brought on behalf of many people who have been adversely affected by the actions of the defendant. Often times the individual claims are small but in the aggregate can be huge. For example, a credit card company that charged a fraction of a percent more than allowed by law may owe one million customers $10 each. Not enough for any individual to sue but as a class of one million, another matter altogether.
Rent Controlled tenants won a big victory recently when Supreme Court Justice Schlomo S. Hagler upheld a DHCR decision denying "hardship" rent increases for 27 elderly tenants living at London Terrace Towers in Chelsea. London Terrace Associates v. DHCR v. Four Corners Tenants Association, Index No. 103341/11 (Sup Ct, NY Co, January 18, 2012). I was the lead attorney on the case that goes back more than ten years. The so-called "hardship" rent increases would have doubled and tripled rents of the few remaining rent controlled tenants in a co-op.