LATEST NEWS

Worst Landlords Ever: These Proprietors Are Looking At Hard Time For Tenant Abuse

By Team Agorafy August 2, 2016
Photo courtesy of www.nydailynews.com

New York landlords don’t have the greatest reputations to begin with, but Ephraim Vashovsky is so vile he could be besties with Kim Jong Un. Vashovsky, along with property manager Adam Cohen and contractor Shaoul Ohana are being charged with endangering the welfare of a child, coercion, grand larceny, reckless endangerment and conspiracy… to name a few. Collectively they face up to seven years in prison on the most radical of the total 20 charges.

Related: Empty Apartments Make Most Noise: NYC Landlords Fret As Apartment Vacancy Hits New High

The victims in this case are Celestino Cano and Guidelia Nicolas along with their family of five children, all under 12 years of age. Vashovsky and his cohorts knowingly placed the family in life threatening conditions in order to force them out of their $2400 a month, rent stabilized apartment they had occupied for 14 years. The family was living at 21 East 115th street in East Harlem and during the winter of 2015, were deprived of heat and running water, coupled with massive construction in the building that left the entire structure on the precipice of fire or collapse.

Photo Courtesy of siderocks.tumblr.com
Photo Courtesy of siderocks.tumblr.com

In May of 2014, Vashovsky bought the ten unit, five-story building for $3 million and in less than a New York minute he started to gut the place to the bare bones. According to the NY Times, court papers report he was accused of, “removing all internal walls and floors of all other apartments in the building, creating a risk of falling from a height of five stories and leaving said fall risk exposed behind unlocked doors.”

Shortly after Vashovsky acquired the building, efforts began to oust Cano and Nicolasa along with their children from apartment 5E. The defendants filed for eviction on the grounds that the building was over-crowded while simultaneously, submitted falsified documents that claimed the building was unoccupied by tenants. Construction permission was then granted based on the false documents. Suddenly imperative fire retardant materials were removed, creating a safety hazard for the family who still lived in the apartment.

It gets worse. The family’s heat was turned off, water in their toilet froze and then was shut off altogether, forcing the family to use the bathrooms at local restaurants. On top of the manipulation and outright bullying, Vashovsky and Cohen continued to deposit more than $1000 the family’s rent checks that were city subsidized by the city while failing to meet the basic needs of his tenants. The cherry on the top of this unconscionable sundae were threats made by Vashovsky that he would report the family as undocumented Mexican immigrants to authorities.

Unfortunately, harassment of rent controlled tenants by landlords is nothing new and is increasing at an alarming rate. Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation advises tenants throughout Brooklyn on landlord/ tenant disputes. They say, “What we see a lot more now is landlords physically destroying buildings to force tenants out overnight. It’s the method of choice these days.”

While the laws in New York State are generally viewed as ‘pro-tenant’, the gulf between the laws and the enforcement of them is becoming wider. Until that gulf is narrowed, stories like this will continue to be commonplace. One can only hope that the lives of tenants can someday be viewed as more important than the profits they generate.

Team Agorafy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Team Agorafy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Team Agorafy

Our mission is to be the most accurate resource for commercial listings, residential listings, and property information, allowing users to make highly-informed decisions based on current market data.

  • AGORAFY
    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China https://goo.gl/PsTUwv
  • AGORAFY
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures https://goo.gl/NZ3zqD
  • AGORAFY
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury https://goo.gl/7TpLk6
Four Countries To Retire In With $200K In Savings—And How Much Real Estate Costs There
Ever dreamed of retiring abroad? You know, affordable healthcare, better climate, more positive news—becoming an expat seems like an enticing option, especially one you no…
While Other Real Estate Platforms Start Charging Agents $3-Per-Day Exposure Fee, Agorafy Remains Accessible To All
Real Estate searching platform are always finding news ways to diversify their revenues models. Case in point—on Tuesday July 18, Streeteasy, one of New York…
Is Real Estate Crowdfunding The Fix That Urban Housing In America Really Needs?
Saving money for a down payment? One can only hope. Most millennial in their twenties or thirties are mortified that they might never be able…
Brooklyn And Queens’ Real Estate Sub-Markets Continue Their Ascent To The New Heights
So, the sales prices in Brooklyn and Queens hit record highs. Again. Just like they did in December 2016 and at the end of this…
The Economy Of Car Services And Delivery Apps Might Be Making NYC Less Eco-Friendly
Living in an eco-friendly neighborhood is a good thing. And, as it always the case with the good things, it also costs more. High rents…
Building Communities: What The U.S. Developers Should Learn From Soho China
As our world emerges into the new period of globalization and technology, some of the most important by-products of this process are buildings that have…
Five Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Must Keep Their Eyes On China
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Chinese influence on the modern global economy. Carving out a place in Chinese market and winning over…
Airbnb Up Their Game With A New Luxury Tier Featuring Mansions And Villas
Airbnb is about to seriously up their game. First, the company started testing a new service called Select in an attempt to push accommodation listings…