Accused of wrecking apartments, landlords face Housing Court

Joel and Aaron Israel face charges they deliberately trashed their Brooklyn building

98 Linden Street
98 Linden Street

Landlords Joel and Aaron Israel, who gained attention for their apparent efforts to expel tenants from their apartments, have caught the attention of the Housing Court.

The two landlords, who operate under JBI Management, have been issued a subpoena by the Cuomo administration in response to allegations about their property at 98 Linden Street. Now, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has indicated that the case has been brought before Housing Court. The court could move to temporarily strip the Israels of control of the building. If that occurs, the court would bring in an outside administrator until the building is repaired, according to a report in Gothamist.

According to published accounts, the landlords allegedly sent workers equipped with sledgehammers to tenants’ apartments to raze their kitchens and bathrooms, under the claim that they were “making repairs” Gothamist reported. Tenants at 98 Linden Street say they have been living in the building — without running water or a functioning bathroom or kitchen — for nearly a year.

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The alleged attacks are believed to stem from efforts to remove rent-regulated tenants from their homes.

Tenants of JBI Management’s other 10 properties also cited similar abuse, including one former resident at 300 Nassau, who was compelled to move after someone allegedly destroyed her building’s boilers. [Gothamist] — Sasha von Oldershausen