NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo served a subpoena on Marolda Properties, a Manhattan based landlord accused of trying to squeeze out rent-regulated tenants from their homes.
Marolda owns several buildings on the Lower East Side and in Chinatown. Jeremy Freeman has run a record shop in a Marolda building for the last decade. Freeman told PIX 11, "the building was primarily Chinese and old Lower East Side residents and people who have been here for 50 years, and over the past couple of years it's become 90% NYU students."
Many residents in Marolda's Chinatown properties do not speak or read English. Some have turned to the Committee for Anti Asian American Violcence (CAAAV) for help. Cathy Dang, Executive Director of CAAAV said, "last summer we started noticing more and more Marolda tenants coming to our offices with similar complaints. They are being brought to court for frivolous reasons They don't understand why they are being brought to court."
"When the problem becomes broad, when the problem is not solvable, that's when you see the Governor and T. P. U. step in," explains Richard White, Deputy Commissioner of the state's Tenant Protection Unit. Lawyers from White's office helped draft the Marolda subpoena.
"What the Governor has said is this property owner has shown enough of a pattern and practice that it's time to take specific action and ask some very strong questions," White said.
Marolda Properties did not return PIX11's calls for comment.