Thursday, May 2, 2024

D.A. Bragg: Landlord indicted for harassing rent-regulated tenants, including in the East Village

Manhattan D.A. Bragg yesterday announced the indictment of Daniel Ohebshalom, also known as Dan Shalom, who is considered one of the city's worst landlords. (He topped the list via Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in 2023.) 

The charges stem from allegations of harassment against rent-regulated tenants, including coercing them to vacate their apartments and allowing Shalom to reap substantial profits by selling the buildings. (His companies include Keystone Management, Inc.; Liberty Ventures, LLC; Highpoint Associates XII, LLC; and Belmont Ventures, LLC.) 

The California-based landlord's Manhattan properties include 331 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. (Steven's Photo below was taken in November 2022.)
In 2022, 331 Tenants Association alleged the following:
Common sights at the 14th Street building (and others in the landlord’s portfolio) include: trash piled high, a broken-down elevator and intercom system, smashed mailboxes and stolen mail, graffiti across the walls, human feces, drug paraphernalia, ceiling collapses, broken doors to empty units, and more. 

Adding to the crumbling building infrastructure, unmaintained entryways have also created the difficult situation of unwanted intruders regularly breaching doors and windows to use common areas and abandoned apartments, often engaging in unaccountable and dangerous behavior like vandalism, littering, and theft of personal belongings. 
The indictment, brought forth in New York State Supreme Court, includes multiple counts of Harassment of a Rent Regulated Tenant in the First Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. 

According to D.A. Bragg, Shalom is accused of exploiting rent-regulated tenants across five Manhattan apartment buildings by subjecting them to perilous living conditions in a bid to force them out. "New Yorkers deserve to live in their apartments without fearing for their safety," Bragg said.

The tenants endured a range of issues, from a lack of heat and hot water during winter months to persistent leaks culminating in ceiling collapses, endangering even young occupants. His tactics allegedly included warehousing unsecured vacant apartments and ignoring repeated warnings about insufficient heating oil, among other safety hazards. 

Furthermore, Shalom purportedly obscured his ownership of the properties by employing deceptive tactics, such as having associates sign paperwork falsely certifying compliance with city agencies. By doing so, he obstructed efforts to address the neglectful conditions within his buildings, prolonging tenants' suffering and impeding their ability to seek redress.

In March, Manhattan Judge Jack Stoller issued an arrest warrant for Shalom. Two weeks later, he turned himself in to NYC authorities over the hazardous conditions at his two Washington Heights apartment buildings. As of March 25, he was reportedly serving a 60-day jail sentence on Rikers Island. 

In making the announcement yesterday, D.A. Bragg's office urged any tenant affected by similar abuses to come forward and seek assistance. For further information or to report related concerns, individuals can contact the Housing and Tenant Protection Unit at (212) 335-3300 or email


Dan said...

Hope people will contact the DA

Anonymous said...

I can't emphasize enough how ironic the guy's name is, as Ohebshalom means peace lover or peace seeker...

Annie said...

It's an outrage that it took this long for the landlord to have consequences for his actions. It looks like the tenants suffered for years!

Anonymous said...

🎶 lookin fer peace in all the apt spaces 🎶 🎵

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, his name literally means peace lover in Hebrew

Anonymous said...

As some of his tenants have said, he should do another 60 days in one of his apartments after he’s released from Rikers.