Tuesday, January 5, 2016

An open letter to landlord Raphael Toledano from the Toledano Tenants Coalition

[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


afbp said...

'MR. TOLENADO'---don't think he has EVER been addressed that way, and probably will not react.....
'DEAR F**k Head'---will, at least, stimulate this POS to have someone read it to him.....

Anonymous said...

A friend who may or may not live in one of these buildings told me recently that they quit using an exterminator in her building.


Anonymous said...

This new breed of landlords are sub-human.

Anonymous said...

Good for the tenants! 17 buildings' worth of tenants is a potent force, and they can probably afford a lawyer. I hope they hold Toledano's feet to fire, so to speak, and continue their organized efforts - and I hope they will publicize their actions so that Toledano gets called out on anything he deserves to be called out on.

Mike said...

I live in one of these buildings and I haven't experienced, or even heard of any of anyone complaining about any these things.

Anonymous said...

As a tenant, I can confirm that.

Anonymous said...

Why do they say alleged so many time? Why are the pussyfooting?

Scuba Diva said...

On January 5, 2016 at 5:24 PM, Anonymous said...

Good for the tenants! 17 buildings' worth of tenants is a potent force, and they can probably afford a lawyer.

We had a housing case against our landlord in which our lawyer even worked for us on a "partial pro-bono" basis, meaning we were responsible for court fees but not lawyer fees. Don't know if any lawyer will do this for the Toledano tenants, but you never know.

I hope they hold Toledano's feet to fire, so to speak, and continue their organized efforts - and I hope they will publicize their actions so that Toledano gets called out on anything he deserves to be called out on.

This is the crucial thing; I wish we had been able to keep the tenants' association together after we prevailed in court, but sadly the turnover is too high here and people are more concerned with just making the rent.

Tenant said...

Pussyfooting due to a lawyer's vetting for any possible libel issues.

Anonymous said...

I was told by the new exterminater that he was told by the new owners that he can only exterminate the kitchen and bathroom. What about the 3 bedrooms and living room especially when there is construction going on a couple of buildings down which are being renovated by the new owners from the tenants being buy out or had to leave. He told me he's new and this was his first time here and his last that he didn't care. Very rude guy too, After I asked him why he's not knocking on any doors in the building and I haven't seen him for the past 3 months .

And very unprofessional service.

Anonymous said...

Now again having problems with essential services. We had no heat last night at all ,the whole night. Very cold in the apartment, not only that...the ground floor light was out and the intercoms aren't working...All of a sudden we are getting all kinds of negligence and weird problems at the same time. There's just to many coincidences and the building is not even under any construction yet. Not even a response from the so call team management ( Brookhill Property's ) when was informed about no heat...

I feel like they just don't care

Concern,and disappointed tenant on 5th St buildings...this has to be reported and it needs to stop cause they are playing with people's lives.

Anonymous said...

No heat, hot water, intercoms, etc = every tenant must call 311 to report... daily!

Anonymous said...

I can attest to him stalking tenants , scaring tenants that don't know their rights,annoying construction and dust and constant ridiculous low ball buyouts ...and don't forget him pretending to be his own law firm to buy more buildings ....Pure scum ..

Anonymous said...

sounds like the commenters here have an axe to grind. fact is, when you go look at his buildings, they're immaculate, and the rehab is incredible! perhaps you should have taken the buy out he offered you. when will you ever see that kind of money again?