Attorney General: University Heights landlord must screen tenants, monitor parties

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The New York State Attorney General’s office has reached a settlement with a Buffalo landlord whose University Heights properties have been the subject of over 500 calls to 911 since 2014.

Under the terms of the settlement, Jeremy Dunn, who owns dozens of properties on Winspear Avenue and Northrup Place, must begin properly screening his tenants, place limits on parties at his properties, and inspect and clean up the properties.

The terms of the settlement also dictate that Dunn must obtain certificates of occupancy, make necessary repairs to his buildings, and take other steps to improve quality of neighborhood life.

According to a statement from New York AG Eric T. Schneidermann, Dunn leases his buildings to young people, often five or more tenants in one building. Some of them host very large house parties, often attended by hundreds. There have been frequent reports of guests urinating and vomiting off roods and on the lawns of neighborhood residents, destroyed property, and drunken brawls.

Scheidermann said that many neighbors have lived in the University Heights neighborhood for decades and have been forced to decide whether it’s worth it to remain in their homes under these conditions.

The house parties are also a danger to young people, Schneidermann added, as many times hundreds of people gather in basements with only one exit. The parties are also magnets for crime, and Dunn has done little in the past to intervene, the statement added.

Dunn will now require rental applications for his properties, prohibit his tenants from having parties for which a fee is charged or alcohol is served to minors or consumed on the sidewalk. Tenants will also be banned from having parties with more than 40 people attending or from gathering on the roofs of buildings. If his tenants hold a party, Dunn has agreed that he will immediately respond to the party at the request of Buffalo Police.

Dunn must also police his properties after each weekend to remove any trash or graffiti.

The Attorney General’s office will actively monitor the situation to ensure Dunn’s compliance.

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