A ‘landlord’ from Brooklyn who had been denounced since 2020, for harassing tenants and subjecting them to dangerous living conditions had to see the face of justice: Now, he must pay a fine of $100,000, correct all faults in a short time, and compensate a group of tenants with $7,500.

This week, and after months of investigations, the New York City Attorney’s Office and the Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force announced a settlement with Greg Fournier and his real estate company, Greenbrook Holdings (Greenbrook), which owns 188 buildings comprising 1,000 units mostly in the neighborhoods of Prospect Park.

Irregularities were found in 22 of the buildings, classified as in the final court report as “atrocious”.

“The tenants lived in dangerous places, were left without services such as gas and water, and suffered unsanitary conditions, putting the health and safety of families at risk. As our state continues to fight this housing crisis, my office will defend New York’s renters against unlawful abuse,” said District Attorney Letitia James.

In general, there are more than 1,200 open violations in all Greenbrook buildings, including lead-based hazards, insecure or exposed electrical wiring, leaky roofs lack of cooking gas, nuisance pests, missing or defective smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, and unauthorized construction work.

In two separate buildings, Greenbrook’s unauthorized work involved gas lines, causing the gas to be shut off to both buildings. In another residential tower, construction work was carried out in the open air that caused debris to fall into adjacent patios and alleys, when at that time they only had a permit for interior work.

During the pandemic

The task force is comprised of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HDP) Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) and the New York City Department of Buildings ( DOB) and the Law Department (NYCLD).

Based on a statement released by OAG, between 2019 and 2021, this corporation purchased new properties in the city and state of New York and immediately began major construction projects.

As properties were acquired, task force members received multiple complaints about the habitability of some buildings, detailing issues such as unsafe conditions, unauthorized construction activities, lack of regular maintenance and repairs.

In December 2020, City agencies began the litigation against two of the buildings, a process that ended in this agreement.

In a statement sent to local media, spokespersons for this real estate corporation indicated that they will continue to focus on their long-term commitment to the city of New York and “to invest in high-quality housing at a time when new units are desperately needed.”

“While many have left the city during the pandemic, we continue to invest in their future,” they concluded.

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