The Real Deal New York

Douglaston wins case to evict wealthy renter from affordable apartment

Stockbroker David Sans misrepresented income to land West Chelsea pad
By Rich Bockmann | February 26, 2018 04:30PM

Jeff Levine and the Ohm at 312 11th Avenue

Jeff Levine and the Ohm at 312 11th Avenue

UPDATED, Feb. 26, 5:30 p.m.: The stockbroker with a six-figure salary who claimed he earned nearly $25,000 in order to score a rent-stabilized apartment has to pack up his things and move out, a judge ruled.

David Sans fought to hold onto his $722-a-month apartment at Douglaston Development’s Ohm rental tower in Chelsea after a state audit last year found he was among at least 160 tenants who has six-figure incomes but lived in affordable buildings across the city, court records show.

The court ruled that Sans lacked a valid explanation for why estimated income grew on later filings. An attorney for the tenant said he disagreed with the court’s ruling and would seek an opportunity to reargue the case.

Sans claimed that Douglaston needed to serve a “notice to cure” in order to evict him on the grounds that he breached his lease. But the landlord’s attorneys were able to argue that Sans’ misrepresentations threatened the building’s valuable low-income tax credits.

“This ruling provides owners with an avenue to act swiftly when false statements by low-income tenants jeopardize valuable low-income housing tax credits,” said Howard Kingsley of Rosenberg & Estis who represented Douglaston.

An audit released last year by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli revealed that Sans claimed a full-time salary of $24,745 when he applied for one of the affordable apartments at Douglaston’s 34-story tower at 312 11th Avenue in 2012, when in fact he made eight times as much.

When Sans came up for recertification he provided a 2012 tax return showing his income had jumped to $238,000 – a figure that would make him ineligible for one of the building’s affordable units. The next hear he claimed he got a job as a top executive at Mount Sinai Hospital three months after landing his affordable apartment, and reported income of $456,502.