Nov. 10, 2017 By Tara Law
The owner of a 23-unit apartment building in Corona who allegedly threatened to evict tenants that failed to disclose their immigration status is now facing a complaint from the State Division of Human Rights.
The division filed a complaint on Nov. 6 against Jaideep Reddy accusing him of discriminating against his tenants at his 95-36 42nd Ave. building based on their immigration status.
On June 12, a letter was plastered on his building’s front door calling on his tenants to provide proof that they were either legal immigrants or citizens and that they were employed. The letter read: “If you fail to comply, your lease will not be renewed…”
The complaint, which alleges discrimination against immigrants, was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday. It follows his June 19 order for the division to look into the case. Should the case prove successful, Reddy would be required to cease and desist all discriminatory practices and pay civil fines and penalties.
“We are a nation of immigrants, and New York will not stand by while innocent men and women are targeted and discriminated against,” Cuomo said Monday.
In New York, Cuomo said, it is illegal to require tenants to disclose their immigration status as a condition to renew their lease.
Reddy has apologized for the letter and said the building’s electrician had written it, who in turn said that his wife had drafted it.
Nevertheless, State Sen. Peralta said that the electrician may be viewed as an “agent” of the landlord and the landlord still deemed responsible.
Peralta said that his office receives many complaints about discrimination but it is unusual to see one backed up by such strong evidence.
“As soon as we saw the letter, we said wait a second. This cannot be done,” he said. “This was the first time that my office had something that blatant.”