A lengthy new report from Bloomberg details how notorious Manhattan landlord Steve Croman allegedly used shady and illegal tactics to deregulate 390 rent-stabilized apartments within his 140 New York City buildings over the past five years.
Croman, who is currently facing 20 felony charges, employed various strategies to force rent-stabilized tenants from the buildings he acquired. According to the report, his "three-pronged strategy" included hiring an ex-cop to intimidate tenants, allowing the buildings to fall into unlivable and even illegal conditions, and filing erroneous lawsuits against tenants to not only drain them of cash, but to also break their spirits in hopes that they would move out.
"He would remove the washing machines. He tried to close the front door, make everybody go through the basement. He got rid of the super, then had a part-time super who did nothing," one tenant told Bloomberg. Even the pricier apartments in Croman's portfolio were deeply flawed. A renovated apartment that was formerly a rent-stabilized building had a faulty dryer and broken dishwasher from the time its two tenants moved in.
Croman is facing 25 years in prison if convicted of the accused crimes. The full report offers plenty of more cringeworthy details about one of NYC’s worst landlords and his alleged horrors.