After claiming to be a rent-stabilized tenant, Raphael Toledano reached a settlement on $124,200 in unpaid rent for his luxury apartment on the Upper West Side, housing court records show. One of the key stipulations: No vaping in the halls.
Simon Baron Development, the owner of 393 West End Avenue, moved to evict Toledano last spring after he overstayed a short-term lease at his $13,800-a-month apartment. Toledano, who was previously investigated by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for alleged harassment of rent-stabilized tenants, then claimed the unit should be rent-stabilized, giving him the right to continue living in what he said was an illegally deregulated apartment. He evidently stopped paying rent for nine months.
But in December, Simon Baron and Toledano agreed to the following terms: Toledano will pay Simon Baron $82,800 and leave the building for good by the end of April. And until he leaves, he’s forbidden from smoking tobacco, including vaping, in public areas of the building, according the settlement.
The deal appears to be good one for the financially troubled Toledano, whose real estate businesses have been mired in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings after nearing default on debt for his portfolio of East Village buildings. The $82,800 he agrees to pay Simon Baron comes out to just 50 percent of the total rent he owes from March 2017 through February 2018, according the agreement.
To fight Simon Baron, Toledano tapped landlord attorney Jeff Goldman, who is also Donald Trump’s real estate attorney. Toledano’s legal team first answered Simon Baron’s eviction proceeding with a counter-claim alleging what would have amounted to tens of thousands of dollars in rent overcharges from illegally deregistering the formerly rent-stabilized apartment.
Toledano and his attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and Matt Baron declined to comment.
Toledano’s lender, Madison Realty Capital, is in the process of taking over 15 of his East Village rental buildings, despite an attempt from Schneiderman to block the transfer last year. Schneiderman’s office alleged that Madison had employed a predatory scheme with knowledge of Toledano’s probable default, and further alleged that Madison lent to Toledeno with the knowledge that he would charge illegal rents, file frivolous litigation and perform unlawful construction.
In 2016, Toledano agreed to pay $1 million to tenants at one of his East Village buildings after rent-stabilized tenants said his management company, Goldmark Property Management, had been aggressively intimidating them into leaving their homes.