For anyone feeling the lack of interesting real estate lawsuits since the Stuy Town settlement, the tenants of Two Trees' 125 Court Street are here to help. The residents of the rental building have filed a class action lawsuit?and started a rent strike?against developer Two Trees, a press release informs us. Not only that, but they've hired Jack Lester, a lawyer who was involved in the Stuy Town case. So what are the tenants' concerns? We'll just let the press release explain:
The complaint claims that Walentas, who enjoy a 25-year tax abatement for the entire 125 Court Street property due to its 421a status, is in violation of the 421a law due to fraudulent misrepresentation of the Housing Preservation Development (HPD) approved rents for each unit and fraudulent lease renewal increases that used a deceptive base rent and did not adhere to the Rent Guidelines Board's increases. According to StreetEasy, recent asking rents range from $2,200/month for a studio to $3,750/month for a 2BR.
A number of 125 Court's tenants are, however, in the midst of a rent strike. They allege water damage that's caused mold and buckled floors in their apartments, and they also say the building has "defective appliances, plumbing, unkempt common areas and garbage rooms, frequent elevator outages, and non-working security cameras." We've reached out to Two Trees for comment and will update if we hear back. In the meantime, anyone have additional intel? Send it over.
UPDATE: Two Trees reps passed along a (very brief) statement: "These allegations are completely baseless and have absolutely no merit. Beyond that, our focus has been providing the highest quality of service to our tenants and we will continue to do exactly that."
· Two Trees coverage [Curbed]