HPD Denies Owner Certificate of No Harassment, Blocks Conversion Plans

HPD recently halted plans by an owner of an Upper West Side residential building to convert 69 rent-stabilized apartments into high-end apartments. The denial occurred after an administrative law judge ruled that the owner was harassing rent-stabilized tenants in a building that also has 131 market-rate apartments. The Colorado-based owner had ignored residents’ requests for basic maintenance and invented unpaid rent claims, wrote the judge of the city Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings in the Jan. 5 ruling.

HPD received 45 separate claims of harassment from the building’s rent-stabilized tenants. And 13 of those residents testified during the proceedings, documenting conditions like the crumbling paint and plaster officials found in 14 rent-restricted units, and a tattered carpet in one unit that the tenant said was almost 40 years old.