As a response to this, Brick Underground spoke with a real-estate lawyer to get a point-by-point takedown of every approach used in the recordings. As writer Virignia K. Smith notes, the situation provides "a learning opportunity for anyone facing illegal scare tactics from their own landlord."
To the article:
"These are classic harassment techniques, they've been around for decades," says Sam Himmelstein, a lawyer who represents residential and commercial tenants and tenant associations. "It's almost like the guy read the DHCR's standard harassment complaint form and said let me 'do all the things they list there'." (Indeed, a good amount of what's said on these recordings flies directly in the face of recently-enacted laws designed to protect regulated tenants from harassment.)
The Brick Underground piece goes on to have Himmelstein debunk claims made in each of the recordings published by the Times, including "The whole building is being de-stabilized, so your rent will increase regardless."
A lesson here: Don't "take anything a landlord (or representative) tells you at face value, even if it all sounds very official and above-board."
Read the full article here.