Greenbrook Partners to pay tenants thousands for harassment

park slope greenbrook tenants
Tenants at 70 Prospect Park West joined together last year after their apartment building was purchased by private equity-backed corporate landlord Greenbrook Partners.
File photo by Caroline Ourso

Real estate company Greenbrook Partners, which has been accused by its Brooklyn tenants of predatory, abusive and illegal tactics, and its managing partner Greg Fournier have to pay the city $100,000 and its tenants thousands more as part of a settlement with State Attorney General Letitia James.

The settlement follows an investigation by the city and state that found the company harassed tenants and used unlawful management practices.

Brooklyn tenants and local politicians have long rallied against Greenbrook Holdings LLC, which has 188 buildings mostly in Brooklyn, forming their own tenants coalition to amplify complaints the company is snapping up stabilized buildings, kicking tenants out illegally and creating dangerous conditions in its buildings in the process.

At a tenant canvassing event in July, City Councilmember Lincoln Restler, who represents a number of Greenbrook Partners’ tenants in North Brooklyn, called the company’s business model “sickening,” and at an earlier tenant rally Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the company was like “bloodsuckers.” He said, “They have a crisis, and they stick their teeth into it and suck the lifeblood out of so many communities, so many neighborhoods, so many tenants.”

US Sen. Chuck Schumer rallied with tenants of 70 Prospect Park West.File photo by Ben Verde

An investigation by the city and state’s joint Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force, launched after a number of tenants filed complaints, found the company was “dangerously negligent” in its ownership, management and operation of its roughly 1,000 units in its 188 buildings, and that tenants were subjected to dangerous living conditions, including illegal construction and frequent gas and water outages. The company has more than 1,900 open violations with the city, including for lead-based hazards, unsafe or exposed electrical wiring, leaky roofs, lack of cooking gas and pests.

With the settlement, Greenbrook Partners has to pay $100,000 to Housing Preservation and Development and $7,500 to every tenant who moved into 10 of its worst buildings before July 2021 and still resides there; correct violations; and hire a compliance officer to conduct random site inspections and a construction review monitor to approve tenant protection plans for construction projects for the next three years.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Greenbrook Partners said: “Putting this settlement behind allows us to focus on our long-term commitment to New York City and on investing in high-quality housing at a time when it’s desperately needed. While many abandoned the city during the pandemic, we continued to invest in its physical and social future through expanded sustainability initiatives and an increased focus on equity in the workplace. We look forward to playing a vital role in the ongoing recovery of New York City in the months and years ahead.”

This story first appeared on Brownstoner.