Tenants in Brooklyn, New York are claiming their landlord is discriminating against them and trying to force them out of their rent-controlled apartment. African American tenants of Homewood Gardens Estates in the Prospect Lefferts Garden neighborhood have filed a federal lawsuit against the complex and owner Yeshaya Wasserman. They allege the landlord failed to make repairs and seldom cashed rent checks in a scheme to evict them from their rent-controlled apartments. Residents claim white and Asian tenants don’t face the same treatment
“He fails routinely to cash rent checks and then turns around and sues plaintiffs for allegedly not paying their rent,” attorney for the residents, Pavita Krishnaswamy said. One woman who’s lived at the apartment complex for over 14 years said she’s gone without hot water for over a week and the landlord barely ever responded to her countless repair requests over the years.
Despite the passage of civil rights laws such as the federal Fair Housing Act in 1968, housing discrimination continues to exist. In New York City, housing discrimination is illegal with respect to several different protected categories, including:
- National origin
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Source of income
There are three different types of laws that may apply to a New York City housing discrimination claim: federal laws (Fair Housing Act), state laws (New York State Human Rights Law), and city laws (New York City Human Rights Law). These laws, while similar in many respects, contain some varying protections for tenants and prospective homebuyers.
If you or a loved one believe you have been victim to unfair and discriminatory practices by your landlord contact an experienced attorney today for the representation you deserve and to protect ensure your legal rights.