Pinnacle Group Pays for Predatory Equity Practices

Today the New York Times reported the settlement of the class action lawsuit between rent-regulated tenants and the Pinnacle Group. Pinnacle agreed to pay $2.5 million to legal and tenant rights groups to assist Pinnacle tenants to make claims for damages.

The tenants’ case was based on claims of widespread harassment, evictions and illegal rent increases. This is all classic Predatory Equity behavior where owners try to push the current tenants out in order to get newer tenants to pay higher rents.

While $2.5 million is a lot of money, it’s impossible to imagine the actual damage that Pinnacle has inflicted on their residents and buildings. If Pinnacle is guilty of Predatory practices, considering they own 15,000 apartments then there are possibly many residents out there who have been harassed or displaced, even if every one seeks damages, how can one put a cash value on being forced out of your home? Also, another consequence of predatory equity buildings is deterioration and divestment, and who can say what physical damage has come upon these properties.

I know in my experience organizing in Botanical Square, a Pinnacle owned building, tenants complained of poor conditions and improper maintenance. New York Community Bank holds the loan on that particular building, and this was actually among the first group of buildings where we tried to reach out to NYCB to take action to ensure it’s buildings are properly maintained, but it certainly wasn’t the last.

In my opinion, while $2.5 million may not reflect the true damage caused by predatory equity, it is good to see someone lay out some cash for these bad practices.

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One thought on “Pinnacle Group Pays for Predatory Equity Practices

  1. I live in a Pinnacle Group building at 291 Edgecombe Ave, and we have not had gas for 3 weeks. I was patient in the beginning, understanding that they DO need to repipe the building because there is a gas leak (though figuring probably it was a bit of negligence that would lead to such an issue). But we have had no contact or information from the management company, they have given us lame hot plates and microwaves that in no way replace a stove/oven, they have denied my unit’s request for more suitable high powered electrical range as well as a rent reduction, and they are certainly taking their sweet time getting the building repiped. There are only 2 men working on one unit per day, and it seems that they have stopped working this week. I also found out today from a friend who works in housing that there is no work permit on file for our building, so it’s not being done legally. I could continue with further frustrating details, but just say this much in order to give the basic idea. I don’t want to go through some kind of long court process and in the end get $100 rent reduction. I merely want my gas back yesterday, and I am looking to find any way to put some fire underneath Pinnacle Group to get it done quickly. Particularly in light of the recent settlement, I can’t imagine they would want any further bad press. This seems completely and obviously absurd and unreasonable, so I wanted to see if have any advice or ideas to help get this resolved quickly.

    Thanks so much for your help!

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