Rent Stabilization Battle Brews in Downtown Brooklyn


When the 18-story apartment building at 85 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn (The Daily News calls it Brooklyn Heights but we suspect that’s just because it makes for a juicier headline) went co-op in 1989, about 30 rent-stabilized tenants opted not to buy their apartments. Now, these hold-outs contend, the building’s sponsor, Mark Teitelbaum, is unfairly seeking rent hikes as well as back rent for improvements that he made to the building back in 2004. Typically landlords of rent stabilized buildings are allowed to make certain upward adjustments in return for making capital improvements. In this case, detailed this morning by The Daily News, Teitelbaum is trying to raise rents by between $60 and $90 a month going forward as well as to collect money going back to 2004; the state Department of Housing and Community Renewal initially denied his request but recently reversed its decision on appeal. The tenants are almost all elderly and many of them are claiming health and financial difficulties. “At their core, the tenants’ primary objections are based on the impact of the increase rather than its supporting factual basis,” Deputy Commissioner Woody Pascal wrote. “However, DHCR must administer the increase in accordance with law.” Not surprisingly, politicians are expressing support for the tenants.

What's Happening