New York City's more villainous slumlords have been using "tenant relocation specialists" for years. As the practice grows more widespread, these "relocators" are becoming increasingly cartoonish.
Anthony Falconite is frequently featured in news articles by now, which describe his alleged intimidation of rent-stabilized tenants. According to the New York Daily News, he is a former police officer, and his tactics are reported to include barging into people's apartments, photographing their mail, and following tenants to work.
Attorney General Schneiderman issued a Cease and Desist letter against Falconite last summer, but according to the Daily News, it hasn't stopped Falconite yet.
One of our clients has recently come to us saying that a "model" was sent to him by his landlord—who just purchased over a dozen buildings in the east village—to encourage him to take a buyout. An agent of the landlord told our client he would like her, due to her appearance.
According to our client, this "model" has started approaching all of the rent-stabilized tenants in these east village buildings; asking to come into their apartments, and repeatedly offering meager sums of money to move out, even after the tenants refused. This woman is friendly. She comes bearing bottles of wine or baked goods, and urges rent-stabilized tenants to leave their homes.
Beware of sleazy measures like this. Sugary buy-out harassment has the same invidious goal: to get rent-regulated tenants out.
The Keystone Kops
According to the West Side Spirit, the NYPD investigating a recent incident in which three men impersonated police officers to gain unauthorized access to a building on the upper west side.
The article states that these men flashed fake badges and claimed to be from the NYPD. They questioned rent-stabilized tenants about their apartments and their tenancy status, asking how long tenants had lived in their homes, and who lived with them.