New York State’s new rent regulation law is pitting tenants at New York City’s largest rental complex, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, and its majority owner, real estate giant Blackstone Group Inc. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, at issue is whether the new law should apply to thousands of the highest-paying renters at the two buildings that have more than 11,000 apartments on Manhattan’s East Side. Tenants are asserting that the new law means their annual rent increases should be much lower than what Blackstone plans to charge them.
In 2015, Blackstone, which is currently one of the world’s largest financial firms, got a $220 million financing package from the city in exchange for preserving 5,000 affordable units at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex for 20 years. However, the state’s June reforms to the rent-stabilization law led the developer to stop major renovations and maintenance, the Real Deal reported last year.
Blackstone purchased the 80-acre site in 2015 for $5.3 billion. But, they may have suspended renovations including fixing lead paint issues in the buildings and larger renovation projects in light of the recent legislation. The Real Deal reports that the real estate industry was caught off guard by the introduction of the laws in June 2019. Blackstone played a key role in the lobbying effort against the laws.
Private Properties and Lead Poisoning
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (The Projects) has been in the spotlight for failing to fix peeling and chipping lead paint in its public housing units that house thousands of children 6 years and younger. It is also important to remember that tenants have been exposed to lead poisoning hazards due to the negligence (carelessness) of private landlords (building owners and managers, etc.).
Nearly 16 years after landmark legislation that passed in New York with the intention of putting an end to child lead poisoning in private residences, report after report has shown that the city has been lax enforcing the law. Private landlords who fail to fix dangerous lead paint conditions have been held accountable for their negligence.
In New York City, Local Law 1 of 2004 requires landlords to identify and fix lead paint hazards in apartments where young children live. This law applies to properties that were built before 1960 or between 1960 and 1978, if the owner knows that the building has lead paint. The law also applies to buildings that have three or more apartments.
Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health including brain damage and damage to the nervous system, slowing growth and development, learning and behavioral issues and hearing and speech problems, etc. There is no blood lead level limit that is considered safe in children. A blood lead test is the only way to find out if your child has a high lead level. Children with lead in their blood may have no symptoms.
Protecting Your Rights
Whether you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment complex or in a public housing unit (the Projects), please remember that you have legal rights. If your child has been diagnosed with high blood lead levels, regardless of whether you live in public or private housing, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords (building owners and managers, etc.) for damages. Those who have been affected can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, permanent injuries, lost income and benefits, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
If your child has been affected by lead poisoning, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our firm recovered $1,162,500 for a child who suffered lead poisoning from paint in her apartment. The child’s injuries were subtle and difficult to recognize. We recovered $162,500 above the $1 million dollar total insurance policy in this case. Despite the judge’s efforts to settle the case for $950,000, we fought hard and recovered $162,500 more than the insurance policy of one million dollars. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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