The Real Deal New York

Ex-con landlord files lawsuit against UES tenant for alleged harassment

Gerald Musano's firm says the tenant called company staff "Nazis"
By Will Parker | April 12, 2018 02:50PM

The real estate company of landlord Gerald Musano, who did prison time in the 1980s after hiring gangs to terrorize tenants out of rent-stabilized apartments, sued an Upper East Side apartment dweller on Thursday, alleging threats to Musano’s company and its agents.

In 337 East 77th Realty LLC’s complaint, Musano, who in 1984 became infamous in Manhattan when he was sentenced to a prison stint for, among other things, filling Chelsea apartments with drug addicts and prostitutes in an attempt to force out tenants, alleges that Aziz Souss “has accused Plaintiff and/or its agents of being criminals” and has sent an “abundance of correspondence at all hours of the day and night as well as weekends wherein he uses demeaning and derogatory language,” along with other charges of harassment and being a nuisance.

The tenant, Souss, has filed numerous complaints with city and state authorities about the condition of his apartment, which have been dismissed, according to the complaint. Masuno in turn has filed multiple rent nonpayment proceedings against Souss, according to Thursday’s court filing.

Musano is asking the court to terminate Souss’ tenancy and to give an award of no less than $2,500 per month for use and occupancy of the apartment.

An attorney for Musano was not immediately available to comment.

Reached by phone, Souss, a rent-stabilized tenant, said that this is the third lawsuit Musano has filed against him. He said there is a pending action in Westchester County, where Musano is demanding $2 million for allegedly damaging his Upper East Side apartment, though The Real Deal was not able to immediately verify details of that suit.

“The guy is going to crazy,” Souss said. “He’s a racist landlord, he’s going crazy.” The Musano company lawsuit filed Thursday specifically complains about Souss calling company personnel racist, and in at least one case, “Nazis.”

Souss said the building superintendent has twice had him arrested for alleged harassment, claims he defended himself against. Souss also contested a claim that alleges he doesn’t allow inspectors into the apartment.