Tribeca Tenants Sue Landlord Over Rent Hike

Tenants at a large apartment complex in Tribeca say their landlord is illegally hiking their rents, despite receiving city tax abatements. As WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports, the tenants could benefit from a recent ruling that limits how landlords convert rent-regulated apartments.

REPORTER: Last month tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village won a major victory when appellate judges made it harder for landlords who get tax abatements to hike rents up to market-rate. The case is being appealed to the state's highest court.

In the case in Tribeca, landlord Stellar Management says it didn’t even know it was receiving a tax abatement, because it was for such a small amount, but when it was detected the money was repaid to the city. The abatement was set to expire in 2012 and tenants argue that whether funds were returned or not, the landlord must keep rents regulated until then.

Some are paying $3,000 and $4,000 a month for apartments that their attorney says should cost less than half that. A judge has asked the state agency that oversees rent regulation to review the case. For WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.