Gutted Apartments -Tenant Harassment

In 2015/6 the Tenant Harassment Protection Task Force [THPTF] was created by the Attorney General, Governor, Mayor, and is supposedly a multi-agency task force including DOB, HPD and DHCR. Its creation was allegedly to combat landlord harassment of Rent Stabilized tenants including the gutting and warehousing of apartments — considered a way to push rent stabilized tenants out.  Read about it by clicking here and more about it on the Attorney General website here. You will not find evidence that such a task force exists reading this blog…


In this building tenants are harassed with lack of services and worse (click here) and 3 apartments have been warehoused, 1 completely gutted and hazardous – the others merely dangerous with electrical wires exposed. DOB is aware, the Attorney General is aware,  HPD is aware, other agencies have been/are constantly made aware… Not one cares to enforce the initiative of the elusive task force.

The previous owner renovated empty apartments (without permits) and rented rent stabilized apartments at market rate (read more here). The current owner pushed some of those tenants out with very high rent increases and lack of repairs. Apartments 4a, 5a, 1c are now warehoused, dangerous and/or gutted.

Permits for minor renovation work had been issued by DOB. No electrical work or structural work was permitted. No work was complete but it had been signed off as such.

4a and 5a were actually stripped of all of their new appliances, flooring, moldings, left with electrical wires hanging, radiators unattached and that way since early 2017. The tenant below -still- has to clean up dirt falling through the ceiling /heating pipes several times a day.
1c was/is gutted and continually made more hazardous from 2017 through  March 2018, dangerous and ignored by DOB. After reviewing facts here, one might say, “helped”.

Follow this timeline closely –since DOB became aware of misrepresented information and other facts surrounding the original architect/owner permit applications; and since the owner received a summons for false information on a permit, most of the information is now changed…  and a new architect has been permitted to file skeleton applications. New permits with new dates of issue have been issued -hiding the falsely certified complete originals. The new architect is well-aware the work is not 90% done, however, that is what he wrote in a letter accompanying the new applications.
Watch video of the new architect company measuring and the extremely hazardous condition of the apartment – obviously not 90% complete.

The owner did apply for permits in 2016 & 2017 -for minor renovation- no structural work, using filing agents JCA & Associates and applications “professionally” certified by Giannasca Gallo Architect P.C.

A dissolved entity.
copyright NYS

The 2016-2017 / original permit applications were for minor renovation work over 25K, and designated Albert Mendoza as the contractor and Ophier Aharanov as the Plumber. [note: the plumbing permit has since disappeared from DOB record -see below]
The permits and applications are/were basically identical.  ”

The original
Albert Mendoza does not possess a Home Improvement Contractor License required by New York City Department of Consumer Affairs for work over $200.but DOB issues tracking numbers to “non-registered” contractors, basically anyone who has insurance, and anyone can get insurance. License workers are vetted, unlicensed -inexperienced workers are working on residential buildings all over New York (endangering buildings – and women!).
Ophier Aharnov is a plumber but is on probation since. The tenants in our building do no know either of these “contractors”. The owners (old) super from their building next door, Hector and “his guys”, Carlos & David striped and/or gutted the apartments. Watch video here.

The permit