One of the largest landlords in the city is being investigated by a state agency for allegedly making life so unbearable for elderly tenants in a rent-regulated apartment complex that they had no choice but to move.

The New York State Tenant Protection Unit subpoenaed Marolda Properties yesterday after allegations that the company had used illegal tenant harassment tactics including denying basic services, refusing to renew leases (even though they were legally obligated to do so) and pressuring tenants to take token buyout offers.

The tenants at the Chinatown properties are predominantly older asians who have been living in the neighborhood for decades. In a press release, Governor Cuomo remarked that, “this case is especially egregious because it appears this landlord preys on many tenants who are elderly and whose primary language is not English—which will not be tolerated in New York State."

The landlord is accused of pressuring a woman in her mid-eighties to leave her apartment, even though she had the legal right to stay. According to the state, the landlord threatened to evict the woman by claiming "that she had not been seen at the building and was not a resident there." In fact, the woman had been living there for forty years and was an active member of the senior center.

The residents of three apartment complexes (located at 90 Elizabeth St., 83-85 Baxter St., and 72 Forsyth St.) will be holding a press conference this afternoon at 90 Elizabeth Street in Chinatown to discuss the state's decision to investigate the landlord, who owns properties across New York City and Westchester.

Unfortunately, this behavior isn't uncommon. Landlords across the city have been observed abusing tenants who are protected by rent-regulation laws, going so far as to even destroy homes people are currently legally living in.