Attorney General James has recovered more than $422,000 for hundreds of Long Island tenants illegally denied security deposits.

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James got more than $422,000 for hundreds of tenants whose security deposits were illegally withheld by Fairfield Properties (Fairfield), one of Long Island’s largest apartment owners. The housing company illegally withheld deposits in whole or in part without providing tenants with a written list of deductions, inspected apartments without the tenant present, and did not allow tenants to return. improve before leaving their home to avoid punishment. As a result of today’s settlement, Fairfield must return the deposits it illegally withheld from approximately 900 former residents, including interest, and pay $90,000 in penalties.

“New Yorkers should not have to worry that a landlord will illegally withhold their money,” he said. Attorney General James. “Fairfield withheld thousands of dollars from hard-working tenants, and now, we’re returning that money to tenants who were shortchanged. We continue to pursue landlords who violate the law and property rights.” New york.”

Fairfield owns and operates 196 rental properties and 13,620 rental properties in Nassau, Suffolk, and Queensland counties. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) received complaints from tenants about Fairfield withholding their security deposits, and after an investigation, OAG found the real estate company’s violation of many laws to protect homes and tenants.

New York law requires landlords to provide an itemized list of any deductions on escrow funds within 14 days or a full refund from the escrow account. Fairfield withheld deposits in full or returned partial deposits without providing residents with a written list of deductions. New York law also requires landlords to give tenants a written notice of their right to be present when the apartment is inspected and that tenants must be given the opportunity to clean up or improve anything that will be deducted from their safe deposit. Fairfield often inspected the apartments without the tenant present and did not give the tenants the opportunity to repair or clean their apartment before leaving.

As a result of today’s settlement, Fairfield will return $422,598.21 to 899 former tenants who are keeping all of their deposits. Fairfield will contact previous tenants and send them their checks. The company will also pay $90,000 in penalties to the state and will be required to report to the OAG regarding its compliance with this agreement. The company has agreed to comply with all laws regarding safe deposit and must send certificates to prove their compliance every year or whenever requested by the OAG for three years. They will also train current staff on proper security deposit procedures and will provide annual training in the future.

“The people who live in my district deserve reasonable, affordable, and transparent housing, and Fairfield has violated their responsibility and trust,” he said. Deputy Speaker Phil Ramos. “This victory against Fairfield shows everyone who wants to do business here that they must follow the law and treat everyone with respect and integrity. I applaud and thank Attorney General Letitia James for his tireless work to ensure that all New Yorkers are protected and safe from violence.”

“I applaud the actions of Attorney General James to correct this injustice,” the statement said Senator Monica R. Martinez. “Fairfield will not accept the withholding of money from hardworking people in Suffolk. As Chair of the Senate Interior Committee, housing is a top priority and I am committed to partnering with the Attorney General to work together to improve it. improve the lives of all Suffolk people.”

“Today’s decision reaffirms New York state’s commitment to tenant rights by holding agricultural property owners accountable and will require additional compliance reporting from this company moving forward,” it said. State Senator Kevin Thomas. “I congratulate Attorney General James for successfully recovering monies illegally withheld from tenants of Fairfield Properties and showing that violations of our building codes will not be tolerated.”

“Today is an amazing day for justice! I am grateful for the great work of Attorney General James and the lengths he continues to protect New York,” he said. Councilor Taylor Darling. “There must be safeguards and accountability in housing, and we have zero tolerance for landlords who engage in illegal and unethical practices, especially to the detriment of tenants. This massive renovation of over $422,000 is a huge win for the tenants of Fairfield Properties located on Long Island and I hope we use this momentum to bring more justice and equality to New York. throughout the state.

“I am very pleased with the actions Attorney General James has taken in this case,” he said Councilor Charles D. Lavine. “These tenants, through no fault of their own, couldn’t make ends meet. With the inflation causing the price of everything to rise and many other daily worries to contend with, now there is one less financial burden to worry about themselves.

“Over the years, my office and I have been involved in numerous fraud cases where landlords have withheld security deposits from their tenants without providing them. the necessary records under the law,” he said. Councilor Kimberly Jean-Pierre “.It’s a shame that legal action is often needed to force landlords to do the right thing by their tenants, but I am very grateful to Attorney General Letitia James and her office for helping to ensure that those who break the law are apprehended. and hardworking New Yorkers are empowered and have the security they deserve.”

“Protecting the rights of homeowners and residents is at the heart of our work in state government,” he said. Councilwoman Michaelle C. Solages. “Long Islanders are fortunate to have an Attorney General who is laser-focused on addressing our regional needs and the interests of New York workers.”

“When tenants provide security deposits, they do so in good faith and the landlord will return the deposit at the end of the lease if all conditions are met by the tenant,” said the tenant. Suffolk County Junior Leader, Jason Richberg. “As elected representatives, our main responsibility is to be a voice for our residents and make sure they can trust our institutions. A big company is illegally withholding money from people. Those in greatest need, including low-income families and seniors, are most vulnerable. The agreement is a message to other landlords and landlords that they will respond. tell them and this practice will not be tolerated. As always, thank you to Attorney General James and his team for standing up for our residents.

“Enforcement by the New York Attorney General is the key to the rights of residents who are actually complying with the market,” he said. Ian Wilder, Executive Director, Long Island Housing Services. “It is unfortunate that law enforcement has been strengthened to ensure that tenants are protected. As a Fair Housing affiliate and HUD-certified Housing Counseling agency, we see that laws passed by the legislature to ensure that tenants are treated equally by their landlords are often ignored. Tenants often find themselves without the resources to ensure that their rights are upheld. We appreciate the steps taken by the New York Attorney General to protect our fellow Long Islanders.

“We applaud Attorney General James for fighting to protect the rights of tenants, a large group of tenants across the region of young professionals, minorities, and millennials who are working tirelessly to find affordable housing in Long Island,” he said. Dan Lloyd, founder and President, Minority Millennials. “We don’t have to worry about landlords taking advantage of us and cashing in on our profits.”

The agreement is part of Attorney General James’ ongoing efforts to protect tenants and stop bad landlords. In December, Attorney General James ban a Queensland landlord from locking tenants out of their homes. In November, he was stopped the real estate company Compass from denying housing to low-income New Yorkers. In October, Attorney General James and the Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force announced a settlement with Greg Fournier and his real estate company, Greenbrook Holdings, for disturbing residents and participating in illegal activities in the management of his buildings in Brooklyn.. In September, Attorney General James secures $4 million from landlords after revealing illegal kickback scheme to rent apartments.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Rachael C. Anello of the Suffolk Regional Office, with the assistance of student Mishaal Bajwa, under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General Kimberly A. Kinirons. The Suffolk Regional Office is part of the Regional Affairs Division, which is led by Deputy Attorney General Jill Faber and overseen by former Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.

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