[EVG file photo of 233-235 E. 5th St.]
Members of the Toledano Tenants Coalition are distributing the following letter to media outlets and local elected officials about the ongoing situation at buildings purchased last fall by Raphael Toledano. Some of the following was also covered in a recent article published in The Villager. The Toledano Tenants Coalition shared a copy with us before its circulation elsewhere...
Dear Mr. Toledano,
Prior to and since your purchase of the Tabak real estate portfolio in Fall 2015, tenants have experienced an alarming amount of alleged harassment. You have articulated your goal to many of us: you wish to remove rent-regulated residents from their homes. Given your intention to remove units from rent-regulation, the publicity surrounding 444 East 13th Street, and other legal matters, tenants of 17 buildings in your portfolio have formed a coalition.
Since June 2015, this coalition has recorded numerous instances of such alleged harassment perpetrated by you, Isaac Toledano, and agents of Brookhill Properties. You and your property managers have allegedly engaged in activities such as:
1. Serving tenants with frivolous notices to vacate and holdover lawsuits;
2. Threatening to shut off basic services such as heat and hot water;
3. Refusing to renew rent-stabilized leases based on meritless allegations;
4. Threatening that impending construction will be an extreme nuisance and will render apartments uninhabitable in your buildings;
5. Following tenants in and around their buildings, after hours, on the street, and close to where they live;
6. Calling tenants to discuss buyout offers, even after tenants have firmly expressed that they are not interested;
7. Pressuring tenants to quickly accept buyout offers.
We would like our interactions with you to reflect the civility and respect that we believe we deserve. We further ask that you examine your methods of operation, and comply with all laws, including the Tenant Protection Act of 2008, and the newly enacted buyout protection. We would ask that you treat your role as a landlord with the gravity it deserves, and that you respect both the letter and the spirit of the law.
The Toledano Tenants Coalition
Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened 'to drop dynamite on the building'
Report: State investigating East Village landlord Raphael Toledano
Report: Uncle suing nephew broker Raphael Toledano over $100 million East Village deal
Report: Raphael Toledano completes purchase of 16-building East Village portfolio
More about alleged harassment and landlord visits via Brook Hill Properties
Brook Hill Properties launches chocolate offensive
In op-ed, Raphael Toledano says that he wants 'to make the East Village a better place'
Report: East Village landlord Raphael Toledano allegedly misrepresented himself as a lawyer