NEW YORK — Anh-Thu Nguyen is grateful for the living room, living area and more in her Park Slope, Brooklyn, apartment where she has lived for 12 years. “My entire New York life,” she says.

Her roommate, Emily Parents, has been at the apartment for three years.

“This apartment has been invaluable during the pandemic,” Parents said.

But their future at the apartment is now up in the air. Real estate investment company Greenbrook Partners bought their Park Slope building in March. A few days later, they got a non-renewal notice saying they had 90 days to get out — with no option to re-sign.

“Everybody started like posting to the WhatApp, ‘Hey, have you gotten this notice of non-renewal?’” Nguyen said. “Yeah, this is a weird letter.”

Since then, they’ve done their research and believe they have a legal right to stay.

“In New York state, if you are living in a building that was built before 1974 and is six units or more, then it’s a rent-stabilized building, which means that you are automatically entitled to a lease renewal,” Nguyen said.

On Friday, they teamed up with local officials to host a rally raising awareness for something they say is happening across the city.

“Our landlord has been gobbling up buildings throughout the COVID pandemic,” Nguyen said.

More than 100 buildings across Brooklyn and Queens, that is.

They want other renters to inform themselves — about their landlords and their rights.

Back at home, as they sit down for dinner, Nguyen and Parents reflect on what’s been an unsettling few months and what their home means to them.

“It’s very difficult, I think, if you’re confronting the potential of eviction by yourself,” Parents said. “No one should feel that way.”

“When I came here, I didn’t have stability with my job, stability with my relationships,” Nguyen said. “The only thing in my life that was like a stabilizing force was the fact that I had this apartment and I had a decent lease that every year had renewed like clockwork.”

“I give this place credit for being a New Yorker,” Nguyen added.

The landlord wanted them out end of June. They say since then they have been sending rent checks, but those checks have not been cashed. Now it’s a waiting game, but because the housing courts are backed up due to the pandemic, it could be a year or two before their case is heard.

NY1 reached out to Greenbrook Partners for comment after the rally and have yet to hear back.


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