New York Appellate Court Rules Rent Overcharge Case Brought on Behalf of Harlem Tenants Can Proceed as a Class Action

  • April 25, 2013

On April 25, 2013, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department, ruled in favor of a group of Harlem tenants represented by ECBAWM, and held that their claims for rent overcharge can proceed as a class action. In Downing v. First Lenox Terrace Associates, the appellate court reversed the lower court, which had dismissed plaintiffs’ claims and directed them to proceed in housing court. Represented by ECBAWM attorneys Matthew Brinckerhoff and Adam Pulver, and co-counsel of Himmelstein McConnell Gribben Donoghue & Joseph, the plaintiffs allege that their landlord systematically, unlawfully treated their apartments as deregulated and not subject to the Rent Stabilization Law, despite their landlord’s receipt of special tax benefits which required them to do so. ECBAWM and Himmelstein McConnell represent classes and putative classes of tenants in several similar cases currently pending.

The court’s decision is available here.

“Waivers Clear Way for Approval of Rent Overcharge Class Action Lawsuits,” New York Law Journal