The 2018 Worst Evictors across New York City

Below is a list of landlords who evicted the most tenants across the city in 2018.

Evictions are not your fault. If your landlord is taking you to court, you aren’t alone. If your landlord is on this list, it means they evict A LOT of people. Their model has worked, in part, because landlords and their lawyers have controlled our city’s housing courts. But that’s changing. Tenants fought and won the Right to Counsel (RTC), which has been a powerful tool to fight back against evictions.

Tenants: Stand up, use RTC, organize and fight back! We are here to fight with you. When you fight, we all win.

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1

Phillip Wischerth
Estates NY Real Estate Services LLC, LeFrak Organization
Citywide

189 Evictions

12789 families housed
7352 families sued*
0.57 lawsuits per family
77% rent stabilized
Funded by Chase, Wells Fargo, M&T Bank, Capital One (Among Others)
Represented by Daniels, Norelli, Cecere & Tavel; Horig, Welikson & Rosen(Among Others)

While Phillip Wischerth is listed as the Head Officer on these buildings, and pictured here, the shareholders belong to the LeFrak familiy. Here is some information about Richard LeFrak, the CEO of the LeFrak Organization. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

2

Ved Parkash
Parkash 242 LLC
Citywide

175 Evictions

4214 families housed
4663 families sued*
1.1 lawsuits per family
97% rent stabilized
Funded by Signature, New York Community Bank, Peapack Gladstone, Capital One (Among Others)
Represented by Anurag Parkash(Among Others)

Ved Parkash uses housing court a lot. Over a 2.5 year period, there were 449 more filings issued than families housed in the buildings he owns. Named by the NYC Public Advocate as the Worst Landlord in November 2015, Ved Parkash uses housing court as a vehicle to collect rent and evict tenants. If tenants want to get repairs or communicate with Parkash, they know housing court is the place to go to track down one of his sons. Parkash has a pattern of suing tenants in court cases that have no merit, which is a form of harassment. He also denies quality repairs and basic services to tenants.

In response to Parkash’s predatory behavior, Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) and Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) began organizing together and started several Tenant Associations which led to the formation of the Parkash Tenant Coalition (15 buildings were represented in the coalition). In July 2016, the Tenant Coalition met face to face with Parkash and won several demands. As a result, Parkash has shifted his behavior in some buildings, but his pattern of suing tenants has not ended.

Read more about Parkash here, here, here, here and here.

3

Peter Fine
Atlantic Development Group
Citywide

167 Evictions

8363 families housed
4200 families sued*
0.5 lawsuits per family
73% rent stabilized
Funded by NYC Government Financing, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Capital One(Among Others)
Represented by Offer Waide(Among Others)

Other than his widespread use of housing court, we don't know a lot about Peter Fine because none of the members of the Coalition are organizing in buildings he owns yet. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

4

Eugene Schneur
Omni New York LLC
Citywide

150 Evictions

6295 families housed
3884 families sued*
0.6 lawsuits per family
36% rent stabilized
Funded by Wells Fargo, BNY Mellon, Citi, NYC Government Financing(Among Others)
Represented by Green & Cohen PC; Stephen Pianoforte(Among Others)

You can read more about Omni here and here.

5

Douglas Eisenberg of A&E
Donald Hastings & Douglas Eisenberg
A&E Real Estate
Citywide

136 Evictions

10928 families housed
3866 families sued*
0.4 lawsuits per family
78% rent stabilized
Funded by Blackstone, Signature Bank, Capital One, New York Community Bank (Among Others)
Represented by Heiberger & Associates(Among Others)

This landlord has a pattern of buying old, worn out buildings in working class neighborhoods of color; letting the apartments of long-term tenants fall into disrepair; and making them wait for months for low-quality repairs. Many tenants also say that this landlord is often unresponsive, neglectful, and rude, and gives preferential treatment to new tenants and their apartments as compared to tenants who have lived in the building longer. They also impose huge rent increases through IAIs, often from questionable renovations to vacant apartments and unnecessary and inflated Major Capital Improvements (MCIs), and use preferential rents to mask outrageously high legal rents, which are often the result of vacancy bonuses and inflated Individual Apartment Increases (IAI's).

Read more about A&E here, here and here.

Douglas Eisenberg of A&E

6

Ron Moelis
L+M Development Partners Inc, among others
Citywide

118 Evictions

9419 families housed
4694 families sued*
0.5 lawsuits per family
61% rent stabilized
Funded by NYC Government Financing, Bank of America, Citi(Among Others)
Represented by Cullen & Associates PC(Among Others)

Ron Moelis is a for profit affordable housing developer who receives a lot of public money. You can read more about Ron Moelis on his website and here. See this article about his close ties to former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.

7

Joel Wiener, among others
The Pinnacle Group
Citywide

106 Evictions

8126 families housed
4437 families sued*
0.5 lawsuits per family
83% rent stabilized
Funded by New York Community Bank, Capital One, BankUnited, Fannie Mae (Among Others)
Represented by Hertz, Cherson & Rosenthal (Among Others)

As reported by the Daily News, “the Pinnacle Group is notorious for illegally hiking rents and issuing false eviction notices in 63 borough buildings from 2004 to 2010...More than 30,000 tenants accused the landlord — one of the city's largest owners of rent-stabilized properties — of harassment in a lawsuit settled in 2011.  Pinnacle agreed to fork over $2.5 million in legal fees to help those who say they were overcharged or harassed seek compensation.”

This company is an example of what tenants groups have been organizing against for years, called Predatory Equity.

Read more about Pinnacle here, here, here and here.

8

Larry Gluck
Stellar Management
Citywide

101 Evictions

7982 families housed
4395 families sued*
0.6 lawsuits per family
51% rent stabilized
Funded by Capital One, New York Community Bank, BankUnited, Signature (Among Others)
Represented by Cullen and Associates PC(Among Others)

Former real estate lawyer, Larry Gluck, is known for de-regulating affordable housing. According to the Real Deal, "Gluck is perhaps best-known for removing Tribeca's 1,300-unit Independence Plaza from the rent-regulated Mitchell-Lama program, despite ongoing legal battles with tenants. Rents in the complex at 40 Harrison Street now top $5,000 a month, more than five times what tenants paid just a few years ago." In another large purchase, Gluck bought the Harlem Riverton Houses. In an interview with the Real Deal, Cynthia Allen, the president of the tenants’ association, said "he talked a really good game; He wanted everyone to think he was this wonderful, great guy. He wasn’t going to say, ‘Look, my plan is to get rid of 50 percent of you.' However, that’s exactly what Riverton’s financing called for."

Gluck has specialized in the past few years in de-stabilizing housing by inflating building and apartment renovation costs. According to Crains, "A review of several lawsuits against Stellar reveals how expensive or dubious renovations enabled the owner to convert rents to market-rate."

To read more about Gluck go here, here, here, here and here.

9

Jonathan Wiener
Chestnut Holdings
Citywide

99 Evictions

6206 families housed
4003 families sued*
0.6 lawsuits per family
91% rent stabilized
Funded by New York Community Bank, Santander, Chase, Signature, Apple Bank (Among Others)
Represented by David Moss, David L Moss & Associates (Among Others)

Jonathan Weiner, the brother of Joel Weiner of The Pinnacle Group is one of the largest owners of rent stabilized housing in the Bronx. In 2013, the Chestnut Holdings Tenant Coalition organized by Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCC) and New York Communities for Change (NYCC), and representing more than 400 tenants from 18 Chestnut Holdings buildings, sent a letter to their landlord in February of 2013 that outlined their concerns. These included insufficient heat and hot water, unresponsive and disrespectful management, lack of quality repairs, lack of adequate security, lack of adequate extermination, lack of respect for tenants’ right to organize, and others. For tenants who struggle with all of the above, receiving rent bills marked urgent with numerous non-rent fees feels like the landlord is doing everything possible to make them move out, short of changing the locks. Tenants in this Coalition felt so abused by Chestnut Holdings widespread use of non rent fees on their bills, such as fees on appliances (air conditioner, washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher), legal fees, damage fees, Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increases and other miscellaneous fees, that they wrote a report about it, which you can read here.  

The Coalition pursued many tactics to be able to live with dignity and respect, including a march to Jonathan Weiner’s house in Riverdale.  In response, instead of addressing tenants’ concerns, Jonathan Weiner’s staff staged a counter protest outside of CASA-New Settlement Apartments’ main office.  They were invited in for coffee but declined. Tenants in Chestnut Holdings buildings today continue to organize and struggle for respect and dignity.

You can read about Jonathan Weiner and Chestnut Holdings here, here, here and here.

10

Jay Rosenfeld
AMA LLC
Citywide

99 Evictions

9676 families housed
3341 families sued*
0.3 lawsuits per family
79% rent stabilized
Funded by Capital One, New York Community Bank, Chase, Freddie Mac(Among Others)
Represented by Gutman, Mintz, Baker, & Sonnenfeldt, P.C.; Horing, Welikson & Rosen(Among Others)

Other than his widespread use of housing court, we don't know a lot about Jay Rosenfeld because none of the members of the Coalition are organizing in buildings he owns yet. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

11

Irving Langer of E&M
Leibel Lederman, Joel Goldstein & Irving Langer
E&M Associates
Citywide

95 Evictions

4643 families housed
1514 families sued*
0.3 lawsuits per family
62% rent stabilized
Funded by Arbor Realty Trust, Signature, New York Community Bank, Investors Bank(Among Others)
Represented by Green and Cohen, PC; Scott Gross; Azoulay Weiss LLP(Among Others)

In December of 2018, E&M sold 50 buildings for more than $250 million to Sugar Hill Capital Partners and they sold 21 buildings to Black Spruce Management and NYC Housing Partnership for $76.25 million. It’s too soon to tell if the new landlords will continue the practices of E&M.

Irving Langer of E&M

12

Sam Applegrad
University Realty Holdings
Citywide

93 Evictions

1380 families housed
1569 families sued*
1.1 lawsuits per family
93% rent stabilized
Funded by Signature, Capital One, BankUnited, New York Community Bank (Among Others)
Represented by Mark H Cohen & Associates, Caiola & Mckenzie(Among Others)

Sam Applegrad uses housing court a lot. Over a 2.5 year period, there were 189 more filings issued than families housed in the buildings he owns. Other than his widespread use of housing court, we don't know a lot about Sam Applegrad because none of the members of the Coalition are organizing in buildings he owns yet. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

13

David Kleiner (aka "David David")
ELSMERE ASSOCIATES LLC
Citywide

93 Evictions

2224 families housed
1541 families sued*
0.7 lawsuits per family
31% rent stabilized
Funded by Bank of New Jersey, Capital One, Chase, New York Community Bank(Among Others)
Represented by Caiola and McKenzie, P.C.; Mark M. Cohen & Associates, P.C.(Among Others)

David David is known for a lack of repairs in his buildings. Tenants in his buildings have complained about lack of heat and hot water, leaks and plumbing issues, electrical issues, peeling paint, and vermin, among other things. In addition, many tenants who have tried to organize in buildings he owns have been harassed for their involvement and many were made to fear losing their preferential rents.

14

Mark Engel
LANGSAM PROPERTY SERVICES CORP
Citywide

89 Evictions

6218 families housed
3427 families sued*
0.6 lawsuits per family
93% rent stabilized
Funded by Signature Bank, Santander Bank, Apple Bank, Capital One(Among Others)
Represented by Novick Edelstein Pomerantz, PC(Among Others)

Other than his widespread use of housing court, we don't know a lot about Mark Engel because none of the members of the Coalition are organizing in buildings he owns yet. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

15

Adam Weinstein
Phipps Houses Group
Citywide

83 Evictions

5466 families housed
1683 families sued*
0.3 lawsuits per family
58% rent stabilized
Funded by NYC Government Financing, Capital One, Chase, Bank of America (Among Others)
Represented by Sontag & Hyman, P.C.(Among Others)

Phipps Houses is a non-profit affordable housing developer and landlord. You can read about them here, here and here.

16

Moshe Piller
Parkchester Apts LLC
Citywide

82 Evictions

2967 families housed
3425 families sued*
1.2 lawsuits per family
97% rent stabilized
Funded by Signature, First Republic Bank, People’s United Bank, Flushing Savings(Among Others)
Represented by Novick Edelstein Pomerantz, PC(Among Others)

Moshe Piller uses housing court a lot. Over a 2.5 year period, there were 458 more filings issued than families housed in buildings he owns. Described by the press as “infamous”;  by his tenants as “notorious” and “slumlord”; and by then Public Advocate Letitia James as “one of NYC’s Worst Landlords”, Moshe Piller has a long and troubling history of negligence, harassment, and displacement. Tenants in his Brooklyn buildings, like 2010 Newkirk Ave in Flatbush, have fought for years for basic repairs, living with repeated leaks and ceiling collapses that have lead to mosquito and mold infestations; vermin; dangerous electrical work, and more. In the Bronx, two children living in one of his buildings were killed by an exploding radiator.   While he was failing to provide basic services in his buildings, Moshe Piller continued taking Brooklyn tenants to court for non-payment of rent. In at least 2010 Newkirk Ave, he did this even though he had overcharged tenants for many years. In 2017, these tenants won more than $162,000 in overcharges and penalties after they filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court together with Flatbush Tenant Coalition and Brooklyn Legal Services.

Here is what tenants said about Piller in 2016, as they filed an overcharge case.

We live in a building with bathroom leaks, cracking floors, mice, rats, no working stoves for weeks.  And he defrauds us of our money and takes us to court saying we owe him more. These landlords are robbing people and they know they are doing it. -Jean Alleyne

This landlord cheated us since we moved into this building.  He was taking money from us that he shouldn’t have been taking and he was putting it in his pocket, not doing repairs. This building needs a lot of repairs and we’ve lived in horrible conditions for so long. It is a violation of our rights. Tenants have the right to be treated respectfully. -Yvonne & Dalphee Champagne

17

David Breuer
Renaissance Equity Holdings LLC
Citywide

78 Evictions

2496 families housed
2167 families sued*
0.9 lawsuits per family
100% rent stabilized
Funded by New York Community Bank(Among Others)
Represented by Slochowsky & Slochowsky LLP; Benjamin Z. Epstein(Among Others)

In a 2.5 year period, David Breuer filed almost one lawsuit in housing court for every family that lives in a building he owns. Other than his widespread use of housing court, we don't know a lot about David Breuer because none of the members of the Coalition are organizing in buildings he owns yet. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

18

Steven Finkelstein
Charlotte Bailey LLC, Finkelstein Timberger East Real Estate, Among Others
Citywide

77 Evictions

4249 families housed
2399 families sued*
0.6 lawsuits per family
96% rent stabilized
Funded by People's United Bank, BankUnited, Cantor Commercial, Capital One(Among Others)
Represented by Richard Langer, Jim McElwain(Among Others)

Often after Finkelstein buys a building, he imposes MCI after MCI starting with gut renovating entire bathroom and kitchens that have left numerous families without working bathrooms and a kitchen to cook in for several weeks up to months at a time. The construction has subjected families to unsafe and hazardous conditions and tenants who refused the renovations, were threatened with housing court for denying access.

Here is what two Finkelstein Tenants have to say:

Juan Nunez: In 2015 at 2770 -80 Kingsbridge Terrace, Mr. Finkelstein decided it was time for our bathrooms and kitchens to be renovated, even though an entire line of apartments in my building had new kitchens installed back in 2011 due to a fire that occurred years before. But that didn’t stop Mr. Finkelstein from sending letters and harassing tenants to allow for the work to begin or face possible evictions. Once the work began it was a complete disaster. Each building had to share ONE bathroom during construction and at times only one bathroom was available for both buildings. Children with asthma were surrounded by dust due to the shoddy construction work. Once the work was complete, the bathrooms were smaller, the kitchen cabinets were falling apart and as a result more repairs were ultimately needed in order to fix the shoddy work that was done. He was granted Major Capital Improvements (MCI's) and tenants are struggling to keep up with rising rent.

A. Omar Owens:  MCI’s are permanent and cause eviction. I have seen the increasing numbers of young families fleeing in the middle of the night not wanting to face the humiliation of broad daylight evictions. Single-parent households and one income families, fixed income retirees are stretched beyond limit bearing the burden of how to make ends meet while paying close to 50% of their income to rent.

Read more on Finkelstein here, here and here.

19

Labe Twerski
Residential Management
Citywide

77 Evictions

4681 families housed
2918 families sued*
0.6 lawsuits per family
68% rent stabilized
Funded by New York Community Bank, Dime, Sterling, Flushing Savings(Among Others)
Represented by Tenenbaum, Berger & Shivers(Among Others)

Labe Twerski is ranked #13 on the Public Advocate’s Landlord Watchlist and you can read more about him here. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

20

Matthew Becker
Related Companies, Simply Better Apartments
Citywide

75 Evictions

3496 families housed
2214 families sued*
0.6 lawsuits per family
85% rent stabilized
Funded by New York Community Bank, Signature, Capital One, Arbor Realty Trust (Among Others)
Represented by Gutman Mintz, Baker & Sonnenfeldt; Cohen, Hurkin Pomerantz & Tenenbaum LLP(Among Others)

We don’t know a lot about Matthew Becker because none of the members of the Coalition are organizing in buildings he owns yet. If you live in a building owned by this worst evictor and want to organize, email us to get involved!

Dishonorable Mentions

laurel1
PROPERTY MANAGERS

Wavecrest

125 Evictions

JLP Metro Management

101 Evictions

According to our research, both of these entities are management companies that also appear to own buildings in some cases. Due to the way they register their properties—in which they will sometimes list a separate property owner they're working with under their own business address—it is difficult to track which buildings they own and which they only manage. However, given the amount of evictions associated with them, and their reputations within the community, we wanted to give them a "dishonorable mention."