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LL possibly pumping substance into apt

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby kochguit » Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:53 pm

41 years in same UES RS apt. New LL, with long established rep in this neighborhood as being violent, possibly mafia purchased building 2009. Immediately let me know I was to move out. Their personal use eviction failed, I have no intention of vacating. A long list exists of all the ongoing harrassment techniques they've employed. Here is the part where my paranoia comes into question; I swear they are pumping something gaseous into this apt. Something odorless, colorless and I am chronically sleepy, fogged in, headache and nauseous. I leave here to the great outdoors and within minutes I lose all the aforementioned conditions. My question is; Is there a precedent for this? Of all the 2 million plus RS apt's in NYC, has anyone, especially tenant atty's run into LL's pumping something illicit, possibly toxic into an apt as a means of harrassment? The commercial space downstairs is empty. The apt directly above is obvously held by a LL confederate. If no one is aware of this ever having taking place, I will quietly look into psychotropics
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:50 pm

You're right to stay the course. Hang in there.

If there is a colorless and odorless gas, how would you know other than being sleepy?

Did you have Covid, even a mild case? There is an after-effect called 'longhaulers' where some of the symptoms include fatigue. You would need to exclude all other possibilities. Of course being cooped-up in an apartment could also lead to fatigue (and also could be one's age and medical condition).

A lot of tenants report things that - as you admit - might be paranoia. It's normal. I've heard a lot of wacko speculations, but a gas in the unit might be one of the more normal suspicions.

How old is the building? It could be just a function of a slow leak. Gas pipes age and develop leaks. In my apartment, the pipe/conduit leading to the ceiling light fixture - is a former gas pipe and it still has gas coming out when the cap is unscrewed. So yes, things do happen, but it might be age or deterioration, not necessarily the LL with a scheme.

Don't go around with a match looking for a leak, but if you find something, call Con Ed ASAP. You can also do what's known as a Peppermint Test at pipe joints. Plumbers can do this.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby kochguit » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:27 pm

LL harrassment: Has anyone reading these words had dealings--negative--with either ABC Management and/or the Mazzorino's? These two entities are desperately trying to get me out of my rent stabilized apt--41years. I would appreciate any knowledge anyone has regarding prior dealings with either of these LL groups. Thank-you in advance
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby Bd212nyc » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:10 pm

Im experiencing the same, different management. Welcome to the world of landlords/management behaving badly. 311 is your best friend.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby TenantNet » Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:37 pm

I wouldn't call 311 a friend, or even effective. In our view they are good for one thing, to prove you made a complaint.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby kochguit » Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:58 pm

There has been no heat in my apt for 3 days. I call 311 this afternoon to make a complaint. LL shows up at my door 2 hours later to fix the heat. They strongly suggest I call them when there's no heat. Either 311 immediately notified them or my apt's bugged
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby TenantNet » Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:54 pm

All LLs are required to have an active phone number registered with HPD (check the NYC Housing Maintenance Code). Chances are your complaint generated a phone call to the LL from HPD.

One problem is that in order to have a call made, you have to leave your name and apt. number with HPD. Some tenants don't want to do that as they fear harassment. You can leave an anonymous complaint for the entire building, but then HPD tends to ignore those complaints. They are still required to notify the LL, but in our experience that never happens.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby kochguit » Sun Dec 05, 2021 11:55 pm

There are 'consultants' who advise LL's schematically on how to get rent stabilized tenants out of their RS apt's. One of the most notorious/infamous is Michael Pimienta. Is there anyone reading this that has knowledge of someone of similar ilk and their workings?
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby TenantNet » Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:37 am

You can read about Michael Pimienta here: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ex ... -1.1988293
or just Google "Michael Pimienta landlord" or "NYC tenant relocation" however there are legit relocation services if tenants are displaced, i.e., a fire.
I seem to remember that Croman also used such pressure. I'm sure there are many more.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby kochguit » Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:44 pm

I've read everything I could about Pimienta. What I'm seeking is info on other Michael Pimienta's out there. Does anyone reading these words know of, had heard of, another LL consultant service who advises LL's on RS tenant removal tactics?
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby TenantNet » Tue Dec 07, 2021 5:04 pm

We put the link in about Pimienta not for you, but for others that read these posts. This forum is not just about the posters; it's about teaching others. See the forum rules; it's always been that.

And we mentioned Croman, which is another one. Also Shalom.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby Sky » Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:22 pm

I lived in a building where the aforementioned 'eviction specialist' Michel Pimienta was hired. His services were in addition to the efforts of the owner and the owner's other employees focused on removing tenants after purchase of the building. He presented as a sleazy, slimy, creep displaying a modest degree of sociopathy ... (and in some instances employed a quasi-slick but transparent creepy charisma as part of his manipulative toolkit). He'd offer a buyout and moving expenses, chauffeur the tenant (in his fancy car) to view various alternate apartments for rent, doing favors for them, etc. There was also talk about him 'courting' one young female family member ... perhaps in hopes of her influencing an extended family to relocate.

Immediately after the building was sold the new owner changed the building's door lock and required all tenants to produce a copy of the lease and renewal before they'd receive the new key (latter irreproducible except by owner with special card). MP went door to door accompanied by a large goon packing a handgun in tow (assumed with carry permit) requesting to see leases along with some questioning. In this way the owner - who may not have had updated paperwork on all tenants - collected leases later used in evidence in a plethora of lawsuits tenants were hit with as a harassment tactic.

MP also did intel gathering on this and other visits, for ex. trying to find out details of everyone who lived in each apartment, chatting up tenants to build rapport, get them to gossip, for ex. to identify adversarial relationships among tenants to get the dirt on tenants - or encourage tenants to 'narc' on others ... all which could later be potentially useful for coercion or evictions. Lot's of information gathering and PSYOPs, insinuations, and false allegations. He also functioned as a disinformation specialist. The problem was that in many ways he was too easily read and he wasn't as slick as he imagined he was ... I guess that's why he got popped by the AG.

I'd once received a phone call that I suspected was placed at his direction, regarding a circumstance in my apt. which few people knew about and which had the presentation of an innocuous inquiry - but was a huge red flag insofar as the inquiry was based on a reasonable probable conclusion to draw from my circumstances, but nevertheless was false and inapplicable ... a vital unknown detail invalidated the ploy. It was the beginning of my learning to sniff out the army of con men and women in the LL's employ and the often subtle lies, misrepresentations, subterfuges, deceits, ploys, counterfeits, tactics, etc. that comprised the backbone of their existence. An army of morally defective people, sometimes extremely shrewd.

He'd also secretly installed a hidden miniature video spy camera in the lobby to surveil comings and goings, which tenants had discovered.
A (non-landlord) archetype of this sort of role could be the character Hans Landa in the movie Inglorious Bastards.


PS: thanks TenantNet for the Daily News link: I didn't realize that the AG went after Pimienta and put him out of business! So satisfying to see a scoundrel get what he deserves: get outed, fined, and forcibly retired!
Last edited by Sky on Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:34 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby Sky » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:34 am

TenantNet wrote:We put the link in about Pimienta not for you, but for others that read these posts. This forum is not just about the posters; it's about teaching others. See the forum rules; it's always been that.

And we mentioned Croman, which is another one. Also Shalom.


Pimienta was employed as a 'Tenant Relocation Specialist' to use a euphemism (aka 'Eviction Specialist'). He was contracted by landlords to assist in removing tenants from their apartments. A typical pattern is a LL buys a building with numerous regulated tenants in a gentrifying neighborhood then hires an Eviction Specialist to remove the regulated tenants so as to flip the now vacant units to market rate or to empty the building of tenants before/after a sale to expedite the building's demolition prior to new construction.

Croman was a landlord not an 'Eviction Specialist' in the manner of Pimienta.
Croman employed the (now notorious) private investigator (and ex-NYPD cop) Anthony Falconite as his 'Eviction Specialist.' By all published accounts he's a brutish creep whose fatal moral defects made him suited to the work of annoying, pestering, threatening, and spreading misery to strangers in their homes. Reports of his behavior are suggestive of someone suffering from an anti-social personality disorder.
Shalom is a landlord.

While it's true that many landlords personally and directly harass or terrorize their tenants in some capacity (I've been on the receiving end of that myself) the Eviction Specialist is a different animal. Like any other career path these individuals put out a shingle and sell their specialized services to landlords. My understanding (but I could be wrong) was that whatever other renumeration Pimienta received from the LL, he also received a commission on each apartment he emptied. He certainly put the time in. A highly incentivized business model indeed.

I don't know if Anthony Falconite sold his services to various landlords or if he worked exclusively for Croman.
Last edited by Sky on Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby Sky » Wed Dec 29, 2021 2:14 am

kochguit wrote:I've read everything I could about Pimienta. What I'm seeking is info on other Michael Pimienta's out there. Does anyone reading these words know of, had heard of, another LL consultant service who advises LL's on RS tenant removal tactics?


Most landlords operating with the business model of getting rid of tenants understand well what tactics are involved. I doubt those LL's need a consultant. LL's wrote the book on that, lol.
A LL operating on the slumlord business model OTOH will employ different tactics as they typically have different goals (as they wish to retain the tenant albeit under abusive conditions with no desire to evict unless the tenant becomes too burdensome for ex. fails to pay rent, demands costly competent repairs, litigation, etc.).
Different animals in the LL ecosphere, although some LLs combine both into one package.

What these Eviction Specialists do is all the hands-on work, they put in the time, they make contact with tenants and build a rapport or conversely intimidate and harass, whichever suits the particular situation and informed by their own proclivities, talents, and tactics. They go into the field and snoop around like a private eye, put in the time to induce a buyout perhaps working with - or as - broker to show the victim (i.e. tenant) apartments they can move into, maybe threaten, etc. All the while and throughout all of these various forms of interaction intelligence gathering is taking place which can be utilized for litigation or coercion, both of the target and other tenants.

It's a separation of labor ... when it's not cost effective for the LL to do it he contracts with a specialist. It may be counter-productive for a LL to do this personally because the tenant-LL relationship may already be strained and the tenant wary and defensive ... in which case a third party can be more effective for ex. by presenting a friendly demeanor and winning a tenant's trust, appearing as a seemingly 'objective' intermediary, conversely by intimidating or making threats. Also, the LL can likely have a degree of plausible deniability regarding the actions of the Eviction Specialist and can pretend to shock, concern, disapproval, etc. of how the tenant is treated. It allows for the good cop/bad cop dynamic to play out.
Last edited by Sky on Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:28 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: LL possibly pumping substance into apt

Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 29, 2021 4:48 am

Sky, thanks for these three posts. I had heard about Croman's efforts in that he owns a number of buildings not too far from me. From what I hear, he hasn't exactly seen the light.
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