Gabriel, a Mexican immigrant who works in a Brooklyn warehouse, has lived in his rent-stabilized apartment in Woodside with his family for ten years. After consulting with the Immigrant Tenant Advocacy Program in 2005, Gabriel discovered that his landlord was illegally overcharging him for rent. Upon filing a complaint with the state housing agency, ITAP won a substantial refund for Gabriel. ITAP also filed a successful lawsuit against the landlord for harassment and to get repairs made to Gabriel’s apartment.
Six years later, Gabriel received a notice terminating his rent-stabilized tenancy from his landlord, who claimed that he wished to move into the apartment himself. Once again, ITAP represented Gabriel in court to fight the termination. The judge determined that, given the landlord’s history of harassment, he did not wish to occupy the apartment in “good faith”—namely, that he simply wished to evict Gabriel, not to actually live in the unit. The landlord’s case was dismissed, and Gabriel and his family were allowed to remain in their home.