Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The hard way

I'm sure all parents would agree one of the toughest things about raising a child is watching them learn those shitty life lessons the hard way. For those with young ones at home, one warning: Be prepared. It doesn't stop when they leave the nest.

This tale begins in August 2008 when Lovely Daughter finished grad school and moved to NYC with her best bud, Gay Boyfriend. They moved into a sublet in Brooklyn with another girl who had been there for, oh, 5 or 6 years. The place was a dump -- the landlord had never fixed a single thing -- but it was a place to live and LD's share was only $900/month. Yeah, yikes.

A few months shy of the end of their lease, new opportunities arose and the three decide to move on. They get verbal (I know, you can see it coming) approval from the landlord. Several positive emails were exchanged with the landlord in the weeks leading up to the move. It was all good....

...until the summons arrived. The landlord was suing them for $5000 each, claiming they broke the lease AND trashed the place. The reality was the landlord completely gutted and remodeled the place after they left and was billing them for it.

Well, our trio was not going to play that. It took several months and multiple trips to the courthouse, but our trio was determined not to give in. Unfortunately, in the end they were advised to settle since they -- all together now -- did not get it in writing.

End result is they each have to pay the douchebag slumlord $1600 over the next five months. Which means the Ex and I get to pay the douchebag slumlord $1600 for the privilege of scamming our daughter. I'm really pleased to be rewarding his asshat business practices.

What makes it worse is that it became clear very early on that this is what this guy does. He rents a place, ignores all requests for maintenance, and when the tenants leave he claims they trashed the property and either withholds their security deposit or sues them, depending on how much remodeling he decides to do. Many people are intimidated and pay him to get it over with. Nice scam, eh? Someone even started a blog about him a while back. There are also posts in various Brooklyn-related forums about his hijinks.


Life Lesson #73: Get It In Writing.



  1. ET's Much Older SisterMarch 31, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Thanks, Liz! Now I know how to scam my tenants in the future. I'm such a dumbass that I actually spent over $50,000 spiffing up the last place I rented. I know! What *was* I thinking??? Obviously, I wasn't thinking about how to get the money out of the previous tenants.

    I would love to have LD and her friends as tenants, but they would never want to live in BFE. We're obviously not very sophisticated here!

  2. I am in the process of taking Brian to court for a similar matter. A friend in law school suggested I collect letters from people attesting to their experiences with Brian, including his tendency for postponements. I would greatly appreciate if you were able to help me by providing such a letter. Please e-mail me at Thanks!

  3. Brian scammed me too. I would pay him in cash and didnt think to get receipts. Big mistake. About a year after i moved out i got a summons in the mail for failure to pay rent and damage. Brian sent the summons to my old address (his building) assuming i wouldnt get the summons and miss court date. Clever. I went to court and assumed he wouldnt lie to the judge. He did. In the elevator i asked him why he lied and he told me that i shouldnt have f..... with him.

    He basically robbed me of $3500.

    This is part of his business model, sue tenants after they leave. He is a predator and should, under no circumstances, be rented from.

    If anyone wants to organize some sort of lawsuit or petition to the housing authority, let me know.


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