The Cuomo administration’s Tenant Protection Unit served Brooklyn-based JBI Management with a subpoena yesterday, months after tenants alleged that workers destroyed their bathrooms and kitchens with sledgehammers.
Officials claim company principals Joel Israel and Aaron Israel purposely trashed apartments at 98 Linden Street, 300 Nassau Avenue, 119 Boerum Street and others in order to expel rent-regulated tenants from ten buildings the brothers own. Tenants filed a lawsuit against the Israels in January with the help of activist group Saint Nick’s Alliance, and the state Office of Rent Administration lowered their rent to $1 a month to compensate for a lack of services. But the plaintiffs told the New York Daily News that they have yet to see their apartments fixed.
State housing commissioner Darryl Towns said the apartments were “trashed,” while Cuomo called the landlords’ alleged actions “unconscionable.”
A spokesperson for JBI denied any wrongdoing. [NYDN] – Kerry Barger