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Landlord Who Bilked Banks out of Millions of Dollars Sued for Harassment

An East Village landlord who was recently arrested for allegedly taking out millions of dollars in loans through fraudulent means is also facing a civil lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. According to an article by Crains New York Business, it is alleged that the landlord illegally harassed tenants in the rent-regulated apartments he owned by attempting to have them evicted so he could charge higher rents.

Steven Croman, who owned 140 buildings in Manhattan, obtained $45 million in loans from New York Community Bank and Capital One Bank between 2012 and 2014 by exaggerating the amount of income his properties generated, according to Schneiderman. That allowed him to obtain favorable terms with the banks. In addition to these allegations, the Attorney General’s office claims that Croman racked up over $1 million in unpaid fines he amassed for construction and building code violations. The violations came when Croman instructed construction firms to perform work without a permit as a way to get the tenants to move out. The work also exposed the tenants to lead dust.

According to the lawsuit, Croman and his company 9300 Realty, would buy up apartment buildings with rent-regulated units, then buy out the tenants so he can increase the rents. Those who refused the buyouts were subject to lawsuits. He would also not deposit the tenants’ rent checks then claim they were behind in their rent. He hired a private investigator who — along with some of the 9300 Realty employees — allegedly used intimidation tactics on the tenants to get them to move out.

If you feel that your rights as a lawful tenant have been threatened or violated, contact Tanya Hobson-Williams, P.C. to learn about the protections available to you under New York State Law.

Attorney General Focuses on Landlord-Tenant Harassment Claim

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsNew York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into the allegedly illegal tactics used to force rent-stabilized tenants out of their homes implemented by multi-million dollar landlord, Steven Croman.

According to reports, the Attorney General is investigating potential violations of city and state laws, including numerous infractions related to tenant harassment.

This week Schneiderman issued a “cease and desist” order to one of Cromans employees, ex-NYPD officer Anthony Falconite.  Tenants allege that Falconite, a private investigator, has engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation in an effort to force them out.

According to recounts by numerous tenants, Croman regularly files frivolous lawsuits, ignores repairs, and resorts to a number of unsavory tactics in an effort to remove current tenants so that he can rent units at much higher rates. Continue reading “Attorney General Focuses on Landlord-Tenant Harassment Claim”

Buyouts as a Method of Tenant Harassment

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsAs New York City rent prices continue to increase, the demand for housing has made rent-controlled apartments an even more precious commodity. Indeed, many landlords seeking to earn a sizeable profit in the current sellers’/renter’s market have engaged in “buying out” their tenants’ lease agreements.

In some situations, a buyout can effect a sizeable and worthwhile payout to both the landlord and the tenant. However, there has become an increasing trend of meager buyout offers to lower-income tenants. These paltry offers, if successful, have the potential to displace lower income individuals in the face of New York’s ever increasing rental prices. Furthermore, recent reports have suggested that these buyout offers have been used more as instruments of illegal tenant harassment than simple mutually-beneficial business propositions. Continue reading “Buyouts as a Method of Tenant Harassment”

Bronx Residents Claim Landlord Is Ignoring Tenant Safety

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsBronx residents and local officials are urging a Jerome Park landlord to update security after a string of burglaries at the Bronx apartment building. Tenants of the building claim they have been robbed blind over the past two years, and some are even convinced that it may be an inside job.

Despite reporting the thefts to the 52nd Precinct and landlord (American Rental Masters), tenants at the 49-unit building say nothing has been done.  They claim that the thefts have been a tenant safety issue for over 2 years!

Continue reading “Bronx Residents Claim Landlord Is Ignoring Tenant Safety”

New York City Tenant Sues Landlord for Negligence

Tanya Hobson-WilliamsAlmost everyone has heard of a story about someone walking into their apartment and realizing they’ve been robbed. But have you ever heard of a story where they stole the bed, the curtains and everything in between? Well that’s what Upper East Side resident, Nilay Shroff, is claiming he experienced in October 2013, when he found his apartment stripped of almost everything in an apparent “mistaken robbery.”

Mr. Shroff, a 27-year-old software maker alleged that late one night in October 2013, he entered his Yorkville apartment to find the shock of a life time; almost everything was gone. Once police arrived, Shroff and the officers became suspicious of the incident since the apartment burglary did not fit the details of a usual occurrence in multiple ways. Continue reading “New York City Tenant Sues Landlord for Negligence”