Jacob Chetrit’s UES penthouse is leaking dirty water into his downstairs neighbor’s home: lawsuit

Condo board blames HVAC system
By Kathryn Brenzel | May 24, 2019 12:45PM

According to the lawsuit, the water is damaging the home of the developer's downstairs neighbor

According to the lawsuit, the water is damaging the home of the developer’s downstairs neighbor (Credit: Getty Images and focusedcapture via Flickr)

Things are getting heated between Jacob Chetrit and his downstairs neighbor. That’s because, according to a new lawsuit, Chetrit’s HVAC system is constantly leaking into his neighbor’s apartment.

300 East 77th Street

300 East 77th Street

A lawsuit filed by the board of managers at 300 East 77th Street, a 31-unit condominium building known as the Seville, alleges that Chetrit’s penthouse is the source of “continuous leaks” into the unit below. According to the lawsuit, the water is damaging the home of the developer’s downstairs neighbor, who has been forced to use a giant garbage can to collect “the dirty and potentially hazardous water leaking from above.”

Representatives for Chetrit did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Property records indicate that Chetrit purchased two penthouse units at the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building in April 2005, paying RFR Holding $6.7 million for the collective 4,460 square feet of space. According to the lawsuit, Chetrit purchased the units as “empty shell[s],” meaning he had wall, fixtures and — crucially — an HVAC system installed on his own.

Chetrit, according to the lawsuit, has said his own contractor found no leaks coming from the HVAC. But the board alleges that an investigation conducted by their contractor determined that the system was indeed the source.

“The severity of these leaks is increasing on an almost daily basis and will only increase further with summer approaching and until the HVAC is repaired,” the lawsuit claims.

Chetrit formed the Chetrit Organization in 2011, spun off from the Chetrit Group, run by his brothers Joseph and Meyer Chetrit. Last year, Joseph also faced some apartment-related issues. According to a lawsuit he filed, a townhouse he rented was plagued by rats and sewage.

In January, Jacob and his two sons bought Midtown office tower 850 Third Avenue from Chinese company HNA Group for $422 million.