The Real Deal New York

Landlords put spy cams in young tenant’s UWS pad: suit

Owners allegedly collected 70 videos of the woman engaged in private acts

November 05, 2014 02:37PM
By Kyna Doles and Claire Moses

Clockwise: 7 West 82nd Street, a spycamera and Aksana Kuzmitskaya

Clockwise: 7 West 82nd Street on the Upper West Side, a spy camera and Aksana Kuzmitskaya

If a rent-free apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. A young student living in New York who got a rent-free deal is suing her landlords for allegedly playing “I spy” with her by installing illegal cameras in the bedroom and bathroom of her apartment.

Aksana Kuzmitskaya filed suit against her former employers and landlords Eli Kadoch and Michel Kadoe, who own and manage 7 West 82nd Street, in New York Supreme Court on Monday.

In 2013,  Kuzmitskaya was hired by 7 West 82nd Street LLC to maintain and clean apartments in the nine-unit brownstone building. She moved into her unit, #3B in December 2013 after Kadoe and Kadoch made multiple requests for her to do so, the suit alleges. They offered her room and board as part of her employee compensation. As landlords, Kadoch and Kadoe had the keys to her apartment.

Kadoch and Kadoe entered the apartment on numerous occasions,  Kuzmitskaya alleges in the suit. Over the course of roughly six months, the defendants gathered at least 70 videos of her engaging in private acts, according to the suit, which says that the landlords engaged in “intentional infringement on her privacy rights.” The landlords spied on Kuzmitskaya while she was either naked or in her underwear, using the bathroom, engaging in sexual acts and showering. The “high-powered” video cameras were concealed in “unsuspecting devices” in the unit’s bathroom, the suit alleges. The defendants allegedly maintained a live feed of the footage.

After she discovered the cameras, Kutzmitskaya called the police, who in turn launched a criminal investigation. Police seized the landlords’ surveillance devices, wireless remotes, laptops and other related equipment.

Kutzmitskaya quit working for the landlords immediately after discovering the cameras and moved out of the building in July 2014, according to court papers. She is suing for an undisclosed sum for loss of wages, compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney fees.

Joseph Mure, Kuzmitskaya’s lawyer, was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

On October 31, a New York County grand jury indicted Kadoch on ten felony counts for the unlawful recordings. According to the court documents, some of the recordings show Kadoch repositioning the cameras in Kuzmitskaya’s apartment.

A LinkedIn profile of a woman with the same name indicates that Kuzmitskaya is from Belarus, is working toward becoming a computer programmer and earned a bachelor’s degree in 2010 from Hrodna State University in Belarus.

In 2009, Kadoe was hit with a $4.5 million lawsuit for illegally using a portion of his building at 7 West 82nd Street as a hotel. Back then, a neighbor alleged Kadoe housed noisy tourists in the building’s garden apartment and created an eyesore for neighbors after he installed a fence in the backyard.

  • WannaBeLandlord

    Sounds like that creepy Hillary Swank movie in Brooklyn, The Resident.

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    This is why airbnb is an extremely bad idea.

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      airbnb is looking in the wrong direction – it’s the GUESTS who shouldn’t be filming – think about it – if they see photos of an apartment obviously inhabited by a female, wouldn’t they rent for a weekend to get closer to the female stranger?

      what if a crazy tenant knows his young neighbor uses airbnb and uses one of his cronies to rent through airbnb so they can get cameras INSIDE the apartment?

  • Quo Vadis Quo Vadis

    They should be barred from landlording privileges after something like this.

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      so if a tenant does it, shouldn’t they lose their rent regulated tenancy?

  • FlipOutNYC

    How did she find out about the camera? Do they allow these guys to review the recorded videos in jail? She must be a good actor. How come I never get a free rent?


    They could’ve just advertised for “cam girls” and had them sign waivers.

    • Ph


  • LakeDrive

    wha wha wha whatttttttttt ??????

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    “and even on the toilet.”

    take their building away and give it the eye-rape victim

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    adult children and grandchildren of elderly tenants should consider putting in cameras in the public rooms of the apartment so they know every day how they are doing inside the apartment:

    My dad had to enter an apartment with firefighters for an old man who hadn’t come for a few days to buy fruit cake every night as was his habit – they went in because there was a bad smell.

    It’s better to be found by your family. It’s more emotionally appropriate and private. And it’s healthier to have someone know right away if you need help – better than Life Alert.

  • Free Lunch

    7 West 82nd Street? She should settle her case in exchange for the Deed to the building….

    • Marc

      You must be a Liberal.

  • dotse

    this woman lok dangerous /Who live in free in a place like this

  • Stand Up For Friends

    I know Aksana and just read about this today. Aksana is smart, educated, hard working, honest, and as nice as anyone one will meet. The actions of the landlord deserve full prosecution, and I hope the court sends a clear message to those who attempt to exploit others that this type of illegal behavior is not going to be tolerated. My best wishes to Aksana and her family.