Landlords Alexander Horn and Sam Kooris have agreed to pay the City $214,000 in a Housing Court settlement that will see them address violations and allegations of tenant harassment in six of their Brooklyn buildings and one in Queens.
The two landlords have been accused of more than 500 violations across the seven buildings and have been issued 18 stop work orders from the Department of Buildings.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) said tenants have also complained about inadequate heat and hot water, missing fire stopping, exposed wiring, water leaks, rodents and defective or broken workmanship in the buildings’ 62 homes.
Horn and Kooris have been ordered to correct conditions and stop tenant harassment at the buildings after they failed to comply with a 2020 court order.
In October 2020, the owners agreed to pay $109,000 in civil penalties, immediately correct hazardous violations within 30 days and comply with the City’s tenant harassment laws, or subject themselves to further civil penalties. However, during follow-up compliance monitoring, HPD found that the owners failed to correct violations and continued to receive reports of tenant harassment at multiple buildings.
The buildings include 829 Halsey St., 879 Dekalb Ave., 814 Macon St., 439 Bleecker St., 419 Marcus Garvey Blvd and 421 Marcus Garvey Blvd, all in Brooklyn, and 1868 Putnam Ave. in Queens.
In May this year, HPD brought new motions in Housing Court for additional civil penalties and a motion for contempt. Horn and Kooris agreed to pay an additional $105,000 in civil penalties and agreed to enter new consent orders compelling them to repair all violations to date.
HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll said the latest actions by the Anti-Harassment Unit show how HPD will be vigilant to ensure that consent orders are complied with by landlords who endanger and harass their tenants.
“In partnership with our sister agencies and NYS partners, HPD’s Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services will continue to work tirelessly to protect tenants & ensure landlords abide by their responsibilities,” she said.
HPD’s Anti-Harassment Unit has been undertaking the investigation of the two landlords in partnership with the Tenant Harassment Prevention Taskforce, which coordinates antiharassment efforts involving multiple jurisdictions across several government agencies.
The Anti-Harassment Unit has taken legal action against 90 buildings since its launch in 2019 and secured more than $680,000 in civil penalties and over $100,000 in rent credits for tenants.
Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca said the city had “zero tolerance for landlords who use construction to harass their tenants and put the safety of our fellow New Yorkers at risk.”
To report landlord harassment or neglect, call 311.