A superintendent at one of Pine Management’s Upper West Side properties is accusing the company of firing him after he refused instructions to rifle through the belongings of their rent-regulated tenants as part of a plan to evict them.
In a lawsuit, Jorge Perez accused his former employer of ordering their supers to “snoop” on tenants at 510 Amsterdam Avenue in hopes of finding evidence that could be used to force them out.
When he refused, Pine fired him, and is now trying to evict him from his apartment in the building, according to the suit, DNAinfo reported.
Perez has been working for the company since 2001. Orders to snoop on tenants only began in 2014, according to the suit, around the time Daniel and Jason Rohlman took over Pine from their father, Thomas Rohlman.
The company also delayed repairs and performed shoddy work on rent-regulated units, the suit alleges.
“Pine Management’s owners are using illegal means to try to evict tenants from rent-regulated apartments in order to increase their rents,” said Perez’s lawyer Sumani Lanka of Legal Aid Society. “Their actions target a vulnerable population who depend on rent-regulated rents in order to maintain their housing.”
Manhattan Valley-based Pine owns 31 buildings in the city, according to DNAinfo. Representatives for the firm declined to comment to the news service about the allegations. [DNAinfo] – Ariel Stulberg