N.Y. Filing Complaint Against Landlord Who Wanted Tenants To Show Proof of Immigration Status

Sunday, November 5, 2017
Glenn Blain
New York Daily News

State officials are taking action against a Queens landlord who threatened tenants with eviction unless they could show they were in the country legally, the Daily News has learned.

The State Division of Human Rights plans to file a formal complaint Monday against Dr. Jaideep Reddy, the owner of a Corona building where residents received notices telling them to provide, among other things, proof of their immigration status.

“Make no mistake: This reprehensible behavior is against the law and against what we stand for as New Yorkers and we will use every avenue to stop this, weed out these bad actors and protect the basic rights of tenants across the state,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The complaint — which stems from a preliminary investigation by the Division of Human Rights — kicks off a 180-day review process by the agency that could lead to hefty fines and other sanctions against Reddy, officials said.

As the Daily News first reported in June, residents of Reddy’s four-story building at 42nd Ave. and Junction Blvd. got notices demanding they appear at the building’s management office with photo ID, Social Security card, “proof of your status in US (green card or passport)” and proof of employment.

The notice warned: “If you fail to comply, your lease will not be renewed, we may have to terminate your lease and may have to evict you from the apartment.”

News of the letter sparked Cuomo and other state and city officials to order investigations of the matter. Under state law, it is illegal to require a tenant to provide immigration status information as a condition to renew their lease.

Reddy did not respond to requests for comment.

When questioned about the notice in June, Reddy, a physician, initially said, “I’ll retract that. I’m sorry.”

Later, Reddy blamed the building’s electrician, Eddie Peralta, for the notice. The electrician then blamed his secretary and invoked President Trump.

“What Donald Trump is doing is right!” Peralta said at the time. “Look what we do for all these illegal aliens, and what do they do? They commit homicides. They go raping people.”

Reddy’s building is located in a predominantly Latino neighborhood.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Tenants Together is not the author of this article and the posting of this document does not imply any endorsement of the content by Tenants Together. This document may contain copyrighted material the use of which may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Tenants Together is making this article available on our website in an effort to advance the understanding of tenant rights issues in California. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Help build power for renters' rights: