It’s been a rough stretch for small landlords. Cash-strapped tenants, shielded by state and federal protections, have skipped rent payments without fear of eviction. But Copperwood Real Estate, a fourth-generation firm with 20 buildings in Yorkville, has moved to boot a tenant allegedly so noxious that even the eviction moratorium might not save him.
Adonis Tan, a resident of Copperwood’s 20-unit walk-up at 428 East 89th Street, has behaved so erratically that the landlord called him a “ticking time bomb” in court less than three months after he moved in.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Copperwood accused Tan of waging a “terroristic campaign” against the building and its staff. According to the suit, he hurls glass bottles and expletives with equal aplomb. He destroys property and screams violently, day and night. And he has told several neighbors, “I am going to kill you.”
The complaint further alleges that Tan has also employed fixtures and appliances in his spate of destruction, such as intentionally flooding his own apartment by leaving his toilet running. He has set several fires in the unit, and once left the gas on overnight, resulting in a late-night visit from the FDNY, according to the filing. The building has endured repeated evacuations.
Now, Copperwood is asking the court for an order of ejectment or warrant of eviction and $50,000 in damages. The suit comes with the federal moratorium on evictions in its final month and New York’s set to expire Aug. 31. But the state’s law lets landlords evict tenants who create a hazardous environment for their neighbors.
Copperwood did not respond to a request for comment. Tan could not be reached.