From the CB1 Yahoo Group: Landlord Harassment & Then Some

Ann-Marie writes:

Yesterday my mother and I were assaulted by our landlord in the building’s hallway. Three real estate agents working for the Corcoran Group were there. While I would not expect them to risk physical injury I would expect them to call the police or try to calm the people involved.

They did nothing. Just stood and watched what unfolded. One of the agents laughed at what was happening. Even after the police arrived the agents still lingered in the hallway watching “the show”. I find them despicable as human beings and wonder if the Corcoran Group with its steller marketing ads would want something like this publicized.

I had called 911. The police took down all necssary information. My mother and I have each filed a complaint and will seek an order of protection through criminal court.

As the landlord was leaving he verbally tripled our rent and said he is going to get us out – by which he will probably file for eviction. We have contacted various agencies for help. Since we live in a “private” house and are not in a rent controlled or rent stabilized apartment not one agency seems to have our situation under their jurisdiction.

Unfortunately I am unemployed right now and lost what little savings I accumulated in the recent stock market crash. So while I would logically look for another apartment or to find a “rent to own” a townhouse (in another state – on my salary and my mother’s SSI we cannot afford New York) my hands are tied. I only ask everyone to pray for us.

I honestly do not know what to say about this other than if what Ann-Marie writes is true— and there is no reason I can think of to disbelieve her— this is appalling. And inexcusable.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, 7:00 p.m.: Laura Hofmann has brought this to my attention:

Ann-Marie served on the Brooklyn Community Board 1 Rezoning Task Force Open Space Committee for the duration of the rezoning process. It is in part, due to her work that everyone in the community will enjoy our community parks.


11 Comments on From the CB1 Yahoo Group: Landlord Harassment & Then Some

  1. wyo on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 8:42 am
  2. the same CB1 rezoning task force that allowed the city to approve zoning for 20 and 30 story towers on the Greenpoint waterfront instead of low level housing, against the wishes of the north greenpoint community who do not want Williamsburg II

  3. missheather on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 11:25 am
  4. And for this reason I take it she deserves to be assaulted by her landlord?

  5. wyo on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 2:32 pm
  6. I should aplogize, the lady didn’t deserve it. I’m just bitter about the waterfront portion of the rezoning and CB1’s lack of imagination.

  7. McJames on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 2:47 pm
  8. With all due respect, why is it that bloggers feel the constant compulsion to blindly repeat one-sided versions of events? I very much enjoy this blog, and very much appreciate the work you do, and the service you provide. And I fully believe the large media has become too beholden and too lethargic to pursue many stories of interest – meaning that blogs do, indeed, provide a needed service. That said, this particular post is endemic of virtually everything that is wrong with blogs. Why did the landlord “assault” these people? What was the form of “assault?” (Did he/she physically attack them, did he/she verbally assault them)? Were the police going to file charges of their own accord? If not (and I assume not, given the account), what reason did they give? Was there injury? Documentation? What were 3 Corcoran employees doing there, anyway? What is the history of the building in question vis a vis housing violations? Vis a vis rent being paid? Can a landlord actually “verbally triple rent” (no)?
    I’m not saying that your source on this story is lying, and I’m not saying the landlord in question is in the right. But I am saying that blindly repeating (faintly hysterical) accounts without investigating in the least – especially in the highly charged world of landlord-tenant disputes – is utterly irresponsible, and undermines your credibility. This reads like something said in the girls room in a middle school, and I suppose I have to consider your other posts in the same light now.

  9. missheather on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 2:54 pm
  10. Now THAT I do understand, wyo!

  11. missheather on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 2:59 pm
  12. As it would happen, I have reached out to this woman (who it should be noted, is an active member of the community) because I would like to sit down with her and better understand what happened, why and write a follow-up post. Landlord harassment is a big, BIG problem in north Brooklyn and I for one would really like to hear her story. Whether or not she elects to contact me is her prerogative. She is clearly traumatized and I am going to respect her emotional space. If this makes me a bathroom wall scrivener in your (landlord) eyes, so be it.

  13. McJames on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 3:57 pm
  14. Again, with all due respect, this is as lame a justification as I’ve heard. Reach out to the landlord. Reach out to the public records on the NYC HPD website. Or, wait to post until your reaching out is done. I’m sure your public can hold their breath that long. You have, in effect, promoted an accusation based on nothing but hearsay. But – and correct me where I’m wrong – that’s OK because the hearsay comes from an active member of the community who needs emotional space?
    Landlord harassment most certainly is a serious issue – all over the city. So is racism, sexism, sexual abuse, and police brutality (to name a few parallel issues that come readily to mind). And in each case, the issues are tricky to combat – in large part because of a gulf between accusation and proof. Which is to say that while accusing somebody of racism (or landlord harassment) is easy, proving (or disproving it) is hard. Which in no way negates the veracity of the accusation.

    Accordingly, I think you will agree, if you want to combat these types of problems, there is an onus to present the accusation responsibly. False and exaggerated accusations only serve to re-enforce the perception that the issue itself is exaggerated, and to have future accusations encounter skepticism. And because accusations of this sort stain the accused even if they are false, there is an added responsibility to present them responsibly. I in no way wish to extend anything but sympathy to the tenant described (regardless of the specifics, landlord-tenant disputes suck), nor do I want to imply that the tenant is lying in any way. But I think it is irresponsible to post blind accusations of any sort. This is not a matter of journalistic integrity – this is simply common sense. Lose sleep over it, or not, but at least consider what I am saying. Why not take a few days, research a little, and then post about the incident?

  15. missheather on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 4:26 pm
  16. If you had actually READ what I posted instead of endeavoring to write the Great American Novel/Screed you would realize that I more or less desire to do what you have outlined. It’s a matter of getting one’s proverbial ducks in a row. How can I, for example, look up a building in HPD if I do not have an address? This is information that I need to secure from this person in question. That, in turn, is contingent upon meeting with her. I have reached out to her and made it clear I would like to hear her story. I am not going to push her. That’s her decision to make.

    I have considered what you are saying. Why not practice what you preach, quit lecturing and consider what I have written? If this is something you are unable or unwilling to do, I really see no point in continuing this “discussion”.

  17. no no on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 7:59 pm
  18. My first impulse is think that McJames needs his own blog. Then the anus will be on him to report things as he sees fit.

  19. SpillConspirator on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 9:20 pm
  20. To wyo,
    The CB1 Rezoning Task Force Parks & Open Space Committee actually voted “Against” the parks proposal, because we felt we didn’t get enough. The whole thing is a nightmare. However, the fact is, that if it weren’t for the work of the task force things would have been ALOT worse. We sure could’ve used the helping hands and minds of all the critics. You need to fire the shots at the right target. That would be the Dear Mayor Mike & his City spoof crew.

    Ann-Marie is upstanding person who’s reputation would cast a damning shadow on some of these negative remarks.

    McJames, I’ve known about Ann-Marie crappy landlord for years now. Apparently, the landlord is getting more desperate to get them out and cash in.
    You are probably thrown off by the quality of Ms. Heather’s blog. However, blogging is not yet a recognized form of press bound by the same rules as the Press. So far, blogging is considered entertainment & arts which is protected by a thing called “poetic license”.

  21. missheather on Wed, 11th Nov 2009 9:29 pm
  22. Mayor Mike & His City Spoof Crew: this should totally be a band!

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