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Post date: September 10 2014

A.G. Schneiderman Secures Relief For Tenants Living In 1,700 NYC Apartments

Agreement Provides Further Relief For Impacted Tenants, Affirms Tenants’ Right To Organize And Requires Manager Of 42 Rent-Regulated Buildings To Maintain Buildings

Schneiderman: My Office Is Committed To Combatting Tenant Harassment; Landlords Must Maintain Their Properties

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement agreement with the former management company of the Three Borough Pool, a portfolio of 42 rent-regulated buildings located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The agreement requires Colonial Management Group, LLC to provide more than $225,000 in rent credits and restitution to tenants. The agreement also requires that delayed maintenance projects be completed within one year.

The agreement with Colonial Management Group, LLC comes on the heels of a separate agreement with the majority owners of the 42 buildings.  That agreement provided extensive relief for tenants, including more than $1 million in rent credits and restitution. More information on that settlement can be found here.

“Over 1 million families live in rent-regulated housing in New York City, and each of those families has the right to decent and safe housing and the right to organize without being subjected to harassment or retaliation,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “This agreement shows that we will leave no stone unturned in holding property owners accountable and in securing full and meaningful relief for tenants who have endured harassment and neglect.”

In November 2013, tenants in the Three Borough Pool filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office that Colonial Management was engaged in an aggressive campaign to deny them their right to organize, a protected activity under Section 230 of New York’s Real Property Law. Documents reviewed by the Attorney General’s office revealed that David Kramer, the owner of Colonial Management, had ordered his employees to take down signs posted by tenants to prevent them from holding meetings.  According to tenants, Colonial posted false notices throughout the buildings, retaliated against tenants who participated in tenant association meetings, and, in several instances, resorted to intimidation to break up peaceful meetings.

During the investigation, the Attorney General found that Colonial did not maintain the buildings, that the buildings had multiple outstanding code violations under New York City’s Housing Maintenance Code, and that at least two of the buildings were in the city’s Alternative Enforcement Program -- a designation that indicates they were among the 200 most physically distressed properties in the city.  

In April 2014, the Attorney General reached an agreement with the building owners. Subsequent to that agreement, David Kramer, the owner of Colonial Management, purchased 7 of the 42 buildings. Today’s agreement provides additional relief for tenants who lived in the 42 buildings when Colonial was manager as well as protection for tenants who will continue to live in the 7 buildings purchased by Kramer.  Among other things, it requires Kramer and Colonial Management to:

  • Provide a one-time rent credit of $600 to tenants in the 7 buildings. That money will compensate tenants for illegal fees and overcharges and amounts to more than $140,000 in overall rent credits;
  • Provide $50,000 in restitution to tenants of all 42 buildings;
  • Dissolve Colonial Management and select a new company to manage the 7 buildings;
  • Conduct outstanding repairs and correct all code violations within one year;
  • Forgo any rent increases for work required to bring the properties into compliance with the city’s Housing Maintenance Code; and
  • Provide all tenants with notice of their right to organize and participate in tenant associations, and their right to use community spaces to facilitate their efforts.

This matter is being handled by Special Counsel Jessica Attie of the Attorney General's Civil Rights Bureau, Special Assistant to the Attorney General Dina Levy, and Civil Rights Bureau Chief Kristen Clarke, with the assistance of Investigator Sixto Santiago.  Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice is Alvin Bragg.

The Attorney General's Office is committed to protecting the rights of tenants and ensuring compliance with civil rights laws. To file a complaint, contact the Civil Rights Bureau at (212) 416-8250, or visit

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