From One Slumlord to Another
Two weeks ago, we reported on this foreclosure protest by New School students. While their singing protests stopped part of the sales, the investors on scene still managed to snap up a few a couple of properties.
One of which was a three story apartment complex in Bushwick (556 Evergreen Avenue). As Elise Goldin of The Surreal Estate pointed out to us, that building was part of the Department of Housing and Preservation's Alternative Enforcement Program--meaning it's been flagged as one of the 200 worst buildings in the city due to various violations.
So, she suggested, perhaps the apartment being sold to a new owner would be a good thing. After all, the new owner can't get any worse than the previous owner, right?
While that theory would be correct in some cases, unfortunately, not here.
The new owner, Jacob Movtady from private investment firm, Parad LLC, is arguably worse.
Whereas the old owner simply didn't take care of the apartment, the new owner, according to tenants in the building, have been warning tenants to give him a year's worth of rent, or face eviction.
According to Carmelita Walker, a 40-year-old mother who's lived on the 3rd floor of the apartment for a decade, Movtady broke into her apartment after not being able to reach her for days--Walker has been in Virginia on bedrest, an unfortunate victim of pulmonary embolism.
"I got this random phone call two weeks ago, the day after the sale," recalled Walker, still in Virginia. "A man asked me when 'I was going to get rid of the trash'.
I thought, 'what trash? I haven't been in the apartment in a while'," she continued. "But then turns out he referring to the stuff inside my apartment."
Movtady told Walker he was the new owner, and she owed him a year's worth of rent, or else she has to leave the apartment, along with her "trash".
"I've lived in this place for ten years, and the building has been horrible," Walker said. "There was no heat, only two electrical socket worked in the whole building."
Walker claimed she had a deal with the old landlord--instead of paying rent, she'd take care of the building and cover maintenance cost.
The new owner, apparently, is refusing to acknowledge the agreement, asking tenants to pay him rent money, although he had just purchased the building two weeks ago.
The Voice made two calls to Parad LLC today, both went unanswered. We will reach out to other tenants tomorrow.
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