The 2019 Worst Evictors in New York City

Below is a list of the top 20 landlords who evicted the most tenants in NYC in 2019. 17 of them were on our list in 2018. While evictions have gone down thanks to Right to Counsel and the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, these worst evictors continue to weaponize housing courts.

In the midst of an unprecedented health crisis that has hit Black and Brown New Yorkers the hardest, the courts are reopening after a short closure. These same tenants will now go from battling COVID to battling the trauma of evictions. Black tenants are twice as likely to be threatened with an eviction than white tenants.

Now, more than ever, it's imperative that the city and the state meet our demands to Change Housing Court and to make NYC Eviction Free. Tenants! Let's Organize!

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1

Ved Parkash
Parkash 242 LLC
Last year's rank: #2

158 Evictions

4321 families housed
4698 families sued*
98% rent stabilized
$416,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Signature, New York Community Bank, Peapack Gladstone, Capital One (Among Others)
Represented by Anurag Parkash(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Danny Weinheim(Among Others)

Ved Parkash uses housing court a lot. Over a 2.5 year period, there were 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 in the Bronx Times, in DNA Info, in DNA info again, NY Daily News and in Norwood News.

2

Ron Moelis
L+M Development Partners Inc, among others
Last year's rank: #6

151 Evictions

13531 families housed
5882 families sued*
41% rent stabilized
$1,602,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by NYC Government Financing, Bank of America, Citi(Among Others)
Represented by Cullen & Associates PC(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Ileana Rivera, Richard McCoy(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 in the NY Times. See this Crains New York article about his close ties to former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.

3

Eugene Schneur
Omni New York LLC
Last year's rank: #4

136 Evictions

6468 families housed
3884 families sued*
34% rent stabilized
$437,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Wells Fargo, BNY Mellon, Citi, NYC Government Financing(Among Others)
Represented by Green & Cohen PC; Stephen Pianoforte(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Justin Grossman(Among Others)

You can read more about Omni in the Commercial Observer and the Real Deal.

4

Phillip Wischerth
Estates NY Real Estate Services LLC, LeFrak Organization
Last year's rank: #1

126 Evictions

11076 families housed
6759 families sued*
89% rent stabilized
$190,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Chase, Wells Fargo, M&T Bank, Capital One (Among Others)
Represented by Daniels, Norelli, Cecere & Tavel; Horig, Welikson & Rosen(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Henry Daley(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 an article in Forbes 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!

5

Peter Fine
Atlantic Development Group
Last year's rank: #3

118 Evictions

8574 families housed
4200 families sued*
73% rent stabilized
$47,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by NYC Government Financing, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Capital One(Among Others)
Represented by Offer Waide(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Henry Daley(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!

6

Jonathan Wiener
Chestnut Holdings
Last year's rank: #9

83 Evictions

6206 families housed
4003 families sued*
92% rent stabilized
$476,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by New York Community Bank, Santander, Chase, Signature, Apple Bank (Among Others)
Represented by David Moss, David L Moss & Associates (Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Ileana Rivera(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.  

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 in City Limits, Riverdale Press, The Real Deal and NY Daily News.

7

Larry Gluck
Stellar Management
Last year's rank: #8

79 Evictions

8174 families housed
4012 families sued*
49% rent stabilized
$1,002,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Capital One, New York Community Bank, BankUnited, Signature (Among Others)
Represented by Cullen and Associates PC(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Ileana Rivera(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 in The Real Deal, NY Times, Pro Publica, and Crains New York.

8

Steven Finkelstein
Charlotte Bailey LLC, Finkelstein Timberger East Real Estate, Among Others
Last year's rank: #18

76 Evictions

4280 families housed
2429 families sued*
90% rent stabilized
$236,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by People's United Bank, BankUnited, Cantor Commercial, Capital One(Among Others)
Represented by Richard Langer, Jim McElwain(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Danny Weinheim(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 on the LSNYC website, in the Riverdale Press and the Village Voice.

9

Douglas Eisenberg, Founding Principal of A&E
Douglas Eisenberg, Donald Hastings, Maggie McCormick
A&E Real Estate
Last year's rank: #5

75 Evictions

10981 families housed
3884 families sued*
81% rent stabilized
$2,522,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Blackstone, Signature Bank, Capital One, New York Community Bank (Among Others)
Represented by Heiberger & Associates(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by George Essock, Jr., Danny Weinheim(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 in The Real Deal, The Real Deal again and The Real Deal a third time.

Douglas Eisenberg, Founding Principal of A&E

10

Mark Engel
Langsam Property Services Corp
Last year's rank: #14

71 Evictions

6296 families housed
3438 families sued*
92% rent stabilized
$78,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Signature Bank, Santander Bank, Capital One(Among Others)
Represented by Novick Edelstein Pomerantz, PC(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Thomas Bia(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!

11

Adam Weinstein
Phipps Houses Group
Last year's rank: #15

71 Evictions

5975 families housed
1732 families sued*
54% rent stabilized
$18,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by NYC Government Financing, Capital One, Chase, Bank of America (Among Others)
Represented by Sontag & Hyman, P.C.(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Danny Weinheim(Among Others)

Phipps Houses is a non-profit affordable housing developer and landlord. You can read about them on the Phipps NY website, on the Spire Real Estate blog and in Crains New York.

12

David Kleiner (aka "David David")
Elsmere Associates LLC
Last year's rank: #13

69 Evictions

2335 families housed
1571 families sued*
37% rent stabilized
$204,000,000+ paid for buildings*
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)
Evictions conducted by Vadim Barbarovich(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.

13

Jay Rosenfeld
AMA LLC
Last year's rank: #10

63 Evictions

9616 families housed
3285 families sued*
77% rent stabilized
$549,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Capital One, New York Community Bank, Freddie Mac(Among Others)
Represented by Gutman, Mintz, Baker, & Sonnenfeldt, P.C.; Horing, Welikson & Rosen(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Richard McCoy(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!

14

Isaac Kassirer
Emerald Equity Group, ArchRock Management
Last year's rank: N/A

60 Evictions

3763 families housed
1587 families sued*
83% rent stabilized
$731,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by New York Community Bank, Santander, Capital One, Signature, Madison Realty Capital(Among Others)
Represented by Law Office of Todd Rothenberg Esq., Horing Welikson & Rosen, P.C(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Justin Grossman(Among Others)

Isaac Kassirer is best known for the state of neglect in which he leaves most of his buildings. For years, tenants in his buildings have endured dangerous combinations of widespread rat and roach infestations, no cooking gas, heat and hot water outages in the dead of winter, toxic mold in their apartments, and a complete lack of repairs. In East Harlem, the only office of his management company, Archrock Management, has blacked out windows, a permanently locked door, and a phone that no one answers. When tenants report violations or exercise their right to withhold rent for substandard housing, Kassirer uses housing court to try to push them out of the building. 

“At times, my partner and I have gone without basic housing necessities such as hot water or gas, sometimes for months on end. We have had to go for stretches of time without needed repairs and, though the landlord is quick to call and harass when the rent is due, we have been less than able to get in contact with anyone when there is an issue with the apartment. When repairs are made, if at all, they are often done in a shabby manner that is not up to par. This is unacceptable and something no tenant should have to go through.” - Alex M., Tenant of 118 East 103rd Street

“I’ve had multiple issues with Emerald Equity in the 3 years I’ve lived in their crumbling buildings. I was taken to housing court for back rent, we reached a settlement. Their faulty accounting made it as though I hadn’t paid and they evicted me. It was devastating. At that point I had to pay the full amount they said I owed immediately to get back into my apartment.  Even to this day I have charges on my account that they will not explain. I have been asking for 6 months what the discrepancy is to no avail. During Covid I’ve been unemployed & work in hospitality which won’t bounce back for months if not years. Once the moratorium is lifted they will try to evict me.” - Danielle Adams, Tenant of 122 East 103rd Street

15

Will Blodgett, Co-founder and Partner at Fairstead
Will Blodgett, Stephen Siegel, Andrew & Jeffrey Goldberg
Fairstead (aka "GFB Management LLC")
Last year's rank: N/A

55 Evictions

3770 families housed
538 families sued*
85% rent stabilized
$884,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by NYC Government Funding, New York Community Bank, Signature Bank, Capital One (Among Others)
Represented by Rebore, Thorpe & Pisarello, P.C(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Richard McCoy, Justin Grossman(Among Others)

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

Will Blodgett, Co-founder and Partner at Fairstead

16

Moshe Piller
Parkchester Apts LLC
Last year's rank: #16

54 Evictions

3024 families housed
3448 families sued*
97% rent stabilized
$110,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Signature, First Republic Bank, People’s United Bank, Flushing Savings(Among Others)
Represented by Novick Edelstein Pomerantz, PC(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Justin Grossman(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

Labe Twerski
Residential Management
Last year's rank: #19

52 Evictions

4743 families housed
2918 families sued*
70% rent stabilized
$121,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by New York Community Bank, Dime, Sterling, Flushing Savings(Among Others)
Represented by Tenenbaum, Berger & Shivers(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Ileana Rivera, Alfred Locascio(Among Others)

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

18

Sam Applegrad
University Realty Holdings
Last year's rank: #12

51 Evictions

1555 families housed
1707 families sued*
94% rent stabilized
$250,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by Signature, Capital One, BankUnited, New York Community Bank (Among Others)
Represented by Mark H Cohen & Associates, Caiola & Mckenzie(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by Richard McCoy, Darlene Barone(Among Others)

Sam Applegrad uses housing court a lot. Over a 2.5 year period, there were 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!

19

Stephen Ross, Founder and Chairman of Related
Stephen Ross, Matthew Becker
Related Companies, Simply Better Apartments
Last year's rank: #20

51 Evictions

3088 families housed
1682 families sued*
95% rent stabilized
$538,000,000+ paid for buildings*
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)
Evictions conducted by Richard McCoy(Among Others)

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

Stephen Ross, Founder and Chairman of Related

20

Martin Kirzner (aka "Izzy Kirzner")
Sharp Management
Last year's rank: N/A

51 Evictions

3789 families housed
2080 families sued*
76% rent stabilized
$471,000,000+ paid for buildings*
Funded by NYC Government Funding, New York Community Bank, Signature Bank, Capital One (Among Others)
Represented by Unknown(Among Others)
Evictions conducted by George Essock, Jr.(Among Others)

We don’t know a lot about Martin Kirzner 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
PUBLIC HOUSING

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

722 Evictions

NYCHA received the DIShonor of being named 2019 and 2020 Worst Landlord by the Public Advocate's Office. NYCHA tenants suffer from lead paint, defunct boilers, and a shrinking staff.

Last year, NYCHA’s new Chairperson, Gregory Russ, appointed by Mayor De Blasio, oversaw an aggressive push to privately-manage public housing via Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). All that's left is for private luxury developers to swoop in and play hero - privatizing air, land, and eventually the apartments in the name of "saving" NYCHA tenants from historic government austerity.

This year, in the midst of a pandemic, NYCHA refused to support our communities by canceling their rent or properly cleaning their buildings. Thousands have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and now are months behind on rent. When courts reopen, NYCHA will file thousands of evictions. But they shouldn't. With Right to Counsel, NYCHA tenants win their cases 97% of the time. NYCHA should not be suing or evicting tenants, period.

laurel2
PROPERTY MANAGERS

Wavecrest Management

105 Evictions

Douglas Elliman Property Management

65 Evictions

JLP Metro Management

62 Evictions

According to our research, these three 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."