Hated landlord Steven Croman found himself in hot water recently when he came under investigation for using "illegal tactics" to harass rent-stabilized tenants. Now, he's facing a new round of accusations, with tenants of 309 East 8th Street filing suit last week.
Croman purchased the East Village tenement in 2012 for $3.5 million. Since then, tenants claim that he has executed a "campaign of harassment, abuse and neglect." According to the lawsuit, there have been few improvements or repairs; public areas are covered with trash and infested with rodents, vagrants and drunks have "regular access to the building," and the lock on the front door is broken, in addition to numerous other structural problems.
Croman also allegedly hired former police officer Anthony Falconite to intimidate rent-stabilized tenants by claiming to be a contractor or private detective. He then attempted to gain access to their apartments. Just last month, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman slapped Falconite with a cease and desist order for harassing tenants.
Croman, for his part, has denied the allegations.
"When we took over the property there were nearly 150 violations associated with prior ownership," a spokesperson told The Real Deal. "Since that time we have made significant renovations and improvements, having removed nearly 90 percent of the violations on the first inspection and the remaining violations being removed shortly thereafter. All of these improvements were made without added capital costs to tenants. We are confident that once we have our day in court this matter will be resolved in our favor."
Well, at least he's not outright evicting them? Small victories, folks.
· "More Croman troubles as tenants claim harassment by ex-cop" [TRD]
· All Steven Croman coverage [Curbed]