NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James announced today that she has Received nearly $420,000 from two Brooklyn landlords who ran an illegal single room rental (SRO) business in Apartment 881, a building in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. Attorney General James settled with Ray Qi Wang Huang, Bao Qing Tang, and their company, 758 Realty LLC (758 Realty), for illegally renting apartment units and single rooms to non-purchasers, often without leases and for periods of less than 30 days, in Violated New York State Multiple Residence Law and repeatedly lied to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) about plans and related documents in violation of the Martin Act. Under the settlement announced today, Huang, Tang and 758 Realty will correct all paperwork related to Apartment 881, provide current tenants with rent-stabilized leases, and pay $420,000 to preserve affordable housing in New York City.

“As New Yorkers struggle to find safe, stable and affordable housing that allows them to thrive, Ray Huang and Bao Tang are finding new ways to cheat the system by focusing only on themselves and their bottom line,” said attorney general james“I have always fought in the best interest of my tenants and I will not allow property owners who owe their landlords to take advantage of their neighbors. My office will continue to stand up for tenants and will ensure that these and any other bad actors are held accountable .”

In April 2017, Huang and Tang submitted plans to OAG for the sale of ten residential units, two commercial units and three parking spaces in a newly constructed condo at 881 54th Street in Brooklyn. In a filing with OAG, Huang and Tang said the building is vacant and will be sold as condominium units. Instead, before the offering plan was accepted for filing, Huang and Tang began collecting rent from tenants occupying residential units in the building and from tenants who rented illegal SROs or individual rooms in units in the building. These tenants paid rent in cash, did not provide a written lease, and the leases were often less than 30 days, which constituted illegal short-term rentals.

Huang and Tang never informed OAG that tenants lived in the building, and continued to state that the building was vacant. They repeatedly provided false information to OAG and filed multiple affidavits that misrepresented the occupancy of the building, claiming that a squatter moved in in 2020, and later that year stated through their attorneys that there are currently only three Tenants live in the building. More tenants have lived in the building at various times since 2018, according to a survey.

In addition to making false statements to OAG, Huang and Tang lied to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to secure tax exemptions. When applying to HPD for 421-a benefits, they claim that the building is going to be condominiums. Once they begin renting units in the building before offer plans are accepted for submission, they will need to update their application with HPD to describe the building as a rent-stabilized rental building with New York Homes and Community Redevelopment (HCR). Huang and Tang did not agree, nor did they provide tenants with a guarantee of stable rent. Huang and Tang continued to receive 421-a benefits under these false pretenses.

Under today’s agreement, Huang and Tang will pay a $355,000 fine and $64,500 in forfeiture of rent received since 2018, for a total of $419,500 to Attorney General James’ HPD Affordable Housing Fund, which maintains and creates economic Appropriate Housing provides funding for New York City housing. Huang and Tang are required to provide rent-stabilized leases to all existing tenants of 881 Condominium and will not engage in any form of harassment or intimidation of tenants or force tenants to surrender their stable units.

The settlement is the latest effort by Attorney General James James to protect tenants and hold landlords accountable. November 2022 Attorney General Indicts a Fraudulent Brooklyn Owner Fake condo units sold and over $5 million stolen from at least 20 Chinese immigrant families. In August 2022, she Over $4M received from landlords after unmasking illegal kickback scheme to deregulate rent-stabilized apartments.

The matter is being handled by Louis M. Solomon, Chief, Enforcement Section, Real Estate Finance Bureau, under the supervision of Commissioner Jacqueline Dischell. Former assistant attorneys general Carly Weinreb and Kimberley Ver Ploeg assisted in the matter. The Real Estate Finance Bureau is part of the Social Justice Division, which is headed by Chief Deputy Attorney General Megan Fox and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.

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