He constantly ranks as one of NYC’s worst landlords, he’s currently facing 20 different felony charges related to harassing rent-stabilized tenants, and he’s also been sued by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over his tactics, but it doesn’t seem like Steve Croman wants to amend his ways anytime soon.
The latest lawsuit he’s embroiled in is one filed by his embattled tenants at 159 Stanton who have lobbed a litany of charges against him, DNAinfo reports. The lawsuit alleges that after Croman purchased the building in 2013 he began a series of construction and demolition projects to try to drive out the tenants.
It started with false charges of not paying rent, and then it was allegedly followed by one of Croman’s cronies harassing tenants in person, banging on their doors, trying to bribe them with money to leave, and trying to coerce them to accept the buyout offers Croman had proposed for tenants to move out.
Following that Croman allegedly began construction and demolition work in August 2015, and living conditions in the building have been precarious since with with problems relating to leaking, dust, debris, and collapsed ceilings.
When tenants filed complaints, they were met with slow responses, and the repairs were never taken care of—the building was in such a state in fact that one of the tenants was robbed due to a collapsed ceiling.
An investigation by Bloomberg earlier this year revealed the number of ways Croman used illegal tactics to drive out rent-stabilized tenants. It still remains to be seen however if he actually faces any punishment over his actions.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Croman issued the following statement:
“9300 has been very responsive to the Cooper Square Committee and the tenants at 159 Stanton Street. The communication is well documented and our good faith efforts are very transparent. We have reached out to the tenants of 159 Stanton and the Cooper Square Committee on multiple occasions offering to immediately address any open issues at the building and in tenants’ apartments. Management has not been informed of any open repair items in tenant apartments, however we remain willing to immediately address any such issues as they are brought to our attention. Additionally, past repair issues have been addressed promptly.