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.”
I agree too. This has to stop. They put others at risk. Good for the landlord
I agree with Saber. I am sure that De Blasio knows exactly who rents his two $5,000 per month (very low property taxed) apartments in Brooklyn. I bet he knows if they are “legal or illegal tenants”, where they are employed, copies of their driver’s licenses, their SS numbers, and how much they earn per year AND where to find them if they do not pay their rent! I think he knows how many mouths are in each of the apartments and how many teeth in each mouth! This poor landlord needs more than just “good luck”. I think Reddy is being discriminated against!
I agree with Saber. What is the owner to do if these “legal or illegal” tenants turn their apartments into “multifamily dwellings? What happens if the owner does not know, or can not prove that there are fifteen people living in his apartment? What is the owner to do if the apartment is illegally subdivided and there is a fire? The owner has no right to know who and how many live in the building he/she owns????? He/she is responsible for the safety of tenants. What happens if these “legal or illegal” tenants stop paying rent? Malice is being directed towards the landord!
The portion of the letter requesting legal documentation is just poorly worded but not done with malice. To quote this article ” The letter read: “If you fail to comply, your lease will not be renewed…” This quote is out of context and misleading.The letter actually says “If you fail to comply, your lease will not be renewed, we may have to terminate your lease and may have to evict you from the apartment.” The new landlord is just doing what they are suppose to do, review and renew leases is one of their responsibilities. Legally, the landlord cannot enter into a lease without “knowing” who is the lessee is. I wonder how many of these “tenants”, people currently living in the building are the people on the lease passed over from the previous owner? Good luck to the landlord in his attempt to bring this dump up to code.