AG nails landlord for breaking rent law, promises more to come

Ink Property Group and three of its principals will pay up to $1.75 million to settle claims by state Attorney General Letitia James that they duped rent-stabilized tenants out of leases, illegally deregulated units and falsified financial documents to secure bank loans. But for now, Ink is on the hook for only a fraction of that. The firm has shelled out $300,000 to a state affordable housing fund and promised $400,000 to the tenants who

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Cea Weaver pokes landlords’ hive over rent reform

Housing advocate Cea Weaver has sent sparks flying across landlord-tenant Twitter since late last week, when she posted that rent-stabilized owners crying poor are more likely crying wolf. The tweet came in response to a video by the Community Housing Improvement Program, a landlord group, highlighting the estimated 20,000 rent-stabilized units allegedly rendered unrentable by the state legislature in 2019. The clip shows a string of unfinished apartments that sit vacant because the law prevents

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Justice delayed: The endless frustration of housing court

Before the pandemic, housing court wasn’t exactly a well-oiled machine. But at least it moved. Sitting on the eighth floor of the Manhattan Civil Courthouse, the landlord-tenant level, Martin Meltzer remembers the commotion almost fondly: spectators overflowing courtrooms, officers screaming to clear out into corridors that were often a combat zone. “There used to be fistfights in this hallway,” the Belkin Burden Goldman attorney said. “If a lawyer was rude, tenants would not in any

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Blackstone posts $29M loss, touts relative strength of real estate holdings

Blackstone slipped into the red in the second quarter as macroeconomic stressors including inflation and rising interest rates took a toll on its portfolio The investment firm reported a net loss of $29.4 million, or 4 cents a share, for the quarter, down from its $1.3 billion (or $1.82 per share) profit in the same period last year. Despite the decline, executives on an earnings call Thursday stressed the performance of Blackstone’s real estate holdings

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M&T forecasts decline in commercial real estate lending as rates rise

Another day, another multifamily lender tightening its purse strings. After its commercial real estate loan balances declined by 2 percent, or $830 million, in the second quarter, M&T Bank said it expects to extend fewer loans to the sector for the rest of the year, citing rising interest rates. That forecast comes one day after Signature Bank, another top lender to the city’s multifamily landlords, said it would curb commercial real estate lending in the

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Signature Bank to rein in real estate lending as deposits falter

Major multifamily lender Signature Bank reported record earnings in the second quarter, but said it will roll back in its commercial real estate lending in the coming months. The primary culprits: rising interest rates and plunging crypto markets. At $339.2 million or $5.26 per share, Signature’s earnings jumped 58 percent from the same period last year as revenue surged 43 percent to $686.8 billion. But those figures masked underlying headwinds: Deposits declined after a cryptocurrency

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“Barring a recession,” record-breaking NYC rents will keep rising

If a hot housing market brought rents to boil, the cool-down should cause apartment prices to fall, right? Wrong. In June, the average Manhattan rent topped $5,000, a historical first, according to a report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman. Meanwhile, the borough’s median rent, which reached a record $4,000 in May, edged up to $4,050 last month. Those gains came as surging mortgage rates caused home sales to dip. And where did

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Landlords bitten by program intended to feed them

When New York’s rent relief program launched early last summer, landlords saw a light at the end of the tunnel. For owners June and Lance Margolin, it had been eight months since they’d received a payment from the tenant renting an apartment in their Long Island home. The program, flush with $2.4 billion, promised to cover the tens of thousands of dollars their renter owed. A year later, those hopes have turned to despair. The

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First signs of rent frenzy ending

After months of soaring rents, firms tracking national apartment prices say national rent growth has slowed, an early sign of a cooling market. A recent report by rental platform Apartment List showed that in June, monthly rent growth for a median apartment — 1.3 percent — was the same as in May, marking the first time this year that it did not increase from one month to the next. Data from Zumper, another rental platform,

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Hochul challengers bang pro-tenant drum before primary election

Democratic candidates for state office seized the final 24 hours before the primary election to align themselves with a political zeitgeist — tenant protections against landlords. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s challengers took the opportunity to set themselves apart from the incumbent by portraying themselves as candidates for the people and not the property owners. Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Long Island centrist and Hochul’s closest competitor, appeared outside NYCHA’s downtown Manhattan headquarters Monday afternoon to bemoan the

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