Orbach accused of Manhattan Valley tenant harassment

Landlord allegedly installed metal gates on stoops, hired private investigator

TRD New York /
Jun.June 19, 2015 03:14 PM

Tenant advocates claim the Orbach Group is attempting to harass and drive out lower and middle-income residents in Manhattan Valley, near Columbia University, in an effort to replace them with Columbia students and higher-income tenants.

Orbach installed metal gates on the stoops of nearly 20 of its buildings in the neighborhood and sent letters to tenants accusing them of loitering on stoops.

The landlord, which markets the apartments to Columbia students by offering a free campus-area shuttle bus, has reportedly challenged tenants on residency requirements in Housing Court and allegedly installed covert surveillance cameras in the properties to monitor such requirements, according to the New York Times.

Other tactics allegedly include offers to buy out leases to tenants facing legal action, as well as the use of a private investigator to obtain information for use in Housing Court.

Orbach’s actions have drawn scrutiny from state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, with some tenants receiving letters from Schneiderman’s office in January notifying that them of an investigation into “complaints of tenant harassment.”

Orbach recently acquired a 48-unit rental building on West 108th Street for $27.5 million. The company purchased a 33-building residential apartment portfolio for $246 million in 2013. [NYT]Rey Mashayekhi


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
New York Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks (Credit: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images, iStock)

Ruling means NYC eviction discussions can resume

Ruling means NYC eviction discussions can resume
Judge Jean Schneider (Credit: iStock, NYCourts.gov)

Housing court ends hopes to advance eviction cases

Housing court ends hopes to advance eviction cases
Columbia University

Columbia offers small businesses free rent for April and May

Columbia offers small businesses free rent for April and May
Evictions are going down in parts of the city where Right to Counsel applies, sparking a push to expand the law. (Credit: iStock)

Evictions down 20% in parts of NYC where tenants get free lawyers

Evictions down 20% in parts of NYC where tenants get free lawyers
600 West 125th Street (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

Here are details on Columbia’s 34-story university housing tower

Here are details on Columbia’s 34-story university housing tower
The Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in Lower Manhattan (Credit: iStock)

Housing court could get a lot more political under reform plan

Housing court could get a lot more political under reform plan
Bronx Housing Court and City Councilman Mark Levine 

Inside the fight to revamp Right to Counsel

Inside the fight to revamp Right to Counsel
Cracking the university real estate code

Cracking the university real estate code

Cracking the university real estate code
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...