Can NYC’s Landlords Afford Another Rent Freeze?

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The Rent Guidelines Board meeting earlier this  month. A final decision on  a rent hike or freeze will come in June.

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The Rent Guidelines Board meeting earlier this month. A final decision on a rent hike or freeze will come in June.

Last June, when the Rent Guidelines Board voted for an unprecedented rent freeze for the city’s one million rent stabilized apartments, landlords warned of impending disaster.

“A rent freeze on the surface may sound pro-tenant,” Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, told the New York Times, “but the reality is landlords will now have to forgo repairing, maintaining, and preserving their apartments.”

With the Rent Guidelines Board now deliberating rent increase levels for the next year, a natural question emerges: How have landlords and their housing stock fared during the past seven months?

Few statistics are yet available to quantify the impact. Data from the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development show fewer emergency violations in the first six months of FY 2016 compared to the first six months of FY 2015, but agency officials say this difference was likely due to a mild winter.

Jack Freund, vice president of the Rent Stabilization Association, says the city will see the effect of the freeze over time. Owners, he says, “are going to focus on the essentials. Where they’re going to scrimp is less obvious and less sensitive to the kind of measures people look at. Maybe they were going to repaint the hallways and the lobby. They’re going to put that off.”

At a Rent Guidelines Board meeting on Thursday, Chris Athineos, landlord and co-president of the Small Property Owners of New York (SPONY), echoed this perception. “SPONY owners try to maintain our buildings with the long term in mind. This board’s actions are forcing small owners to be more reactionary rather than take a proactive approach,” he said. “Once we get to the point where there’s a crisis every day, there’s no turning back.”

Athineos told City Limits he has delayed insulating a vacant apartment and may need to delay other future maintenance projects. SPONY co-president Jimmy Silber says he’d forgone repainting the hallways and replacing light fixtures of his 85-unit building in Greenwich Village. Scott Walsh, vice president of Forest City Ratner and a representative for landlords on the Rent Guidelines Board, said Forest City Ratner had also made cuts—and would need to start cutting staff if the Rent Guidelines Board issued another rent freeze next year.

Landlord dispute past year’s expenses

One statistic belies these anecdotes of landlords’ tightening their belts. Each year, the board measures the Price Index of Operating Costs (PIOC), which indicates the change in operating costs based on a price assessment of a set of goods and services. This year’s report shows PIOC fell by 1.2 percent, the second instance of a decrease since 1969.

According to board reports, a 41.2 percent drop in fuel costs, thanks both to decreasing fuel oil prices and a mild winter, offset 7.5 percent increases in taxes, 3.2 percent increases in labor costs, 8.2 percent increases in insurance costs and other expenses. If the costs of operating a rental unit have decreased, landlords should be in no worse shape—if not in better shape—than prior to the rent freeze.

But Silber, Athineos, and Walsh insist their costs did go up. They point to the great variability in costs for different owners, and note that buildings that run on steam or natural gas did not benefit from the 45.5 percent drop in oil prices. (The price of natural gas dropped 31.6 percent, the price of steam 31.2 percent.)

Silber said one landlord with a six-unit building in Astoria has a rent stabilized tenant paying $800 a month, and therefore has collected $96 in rent increases over the past two years. “He said to me, ‘Jimmy, I pray every night that I don’t have a plumbing repair in that apartment because…I have spent four-fold what I have gotten from the Rent Guidelines Board,'” Silber said at Thursday’s board meeting.

Many trade associations also dispute the accuracy of the PIOC, noting that it does not include the cost of making capital improvements or complying with many new regulations, such as energy audits and hiring contractors who are lead-certified.

“Everybody wants these kinds of improvements in the built environment but there’s a cost to this stuff and nobody seems to be willing to pay for it,” says Freund. He adds that rather than use PIOC to assess owner expenses, the board should look at long-term trends, such as the actual operating costs reported by landlords to the NYC Department of Finance from 2011 through 2014. During that period, according to a board report, landlords’ real operating costs increased annually between three and five percent.

Different perceptions of profit

It’s hard to say whether PIOC may have underestimated the costs to landlords this year. While PIOC, as a measure of prices, is not a perfect measure of the actual costs reported by landlords, PIOC actually overestimated the costs to landlords more often than underestimated those costs between 1990 and 2014, according to the report.

Yet one might wonder whether, whatever the slight rise or fall in this past year’s costs, New York City landlords are simply doing well enough to deal with a rent freeze.

Rent stabilized landlords’ net operating income (income after expenses) has increased every year for the past ten years. In the years 2012 through 2014, landlords spent an average of roughly $10,800 per unit annually and realized about $5,500 in net operating income—a roughly 50 percent return. Landlords’ income differed depending on the location of the building: a typical 45-unit building in Manhattan’s core yielded an average net operating income average of $264,000 in 2014, while a similar building outside of central Manhattan yielded $210,000.

Walsh says not all landlords have thrived these past ten years, especially those outside of gentrifying neighborhoods where rents have increased dramatically. Since 1990 the average net operating income in Brooklyn has increased 86 percent, while in the Bronx it has increased only 33 percent.

Patrick Siconolfi, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, said it was a “very serious misunderstanding” to equate the board’s calculation of net operating income with profits because the measure does not incorporate the costs of capital expenses and debt service.

“Profits are going nowhere in the direction that Net Operating Income is going,” he says.

Affordable housing developers remaining calm

Nonprofit developers, however, had a somewhat different story to tell.

“The rent freeze did not hurt us,” says Harry DeRienzo, president of Banana Kelly CIA Inc. and board chair of the Association for Neighborhood Housing Development, which advocated for a rent freeze last year. He said Banana Kelly’s portfolio is doing “very well” thanks to the past year’s low fuel costs.

Scott Short, housing director at the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen Council, said that after the rent freeze was announced, his organization had budgeted accordingly, and expected to break even thanks to low fuel and insurance costs.

Both, however, said that continuous rent freezes would not be sustainable. Banana Kelly’s developments are underwritten with an expectation of an annual 3 percent increase in expenses and a 2 percent increase in rent and will need some kind of rent increase to remain in fiscal health. In addition, affordable housing developers face increasing water rates and labor costs, especially with the coming phase-in of the $15 minimum wage.

DeRienzo said Banana Kelly will likely not advocate for another rent freeze this year, but neither will they oppose their resident associations’ demands for a freeze or rollback. DeRienzo also supports other measures to protect tenants, such as reforms to end vacancy decontrol.

Deputy director of the Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development Barika Williams says nonprofit developers are able to control their costs—perhaps explaining the difference in attitude toward the rent freeze—because they take advantage of a number of city programs to lower expenses.

“It’s sort of like coupon clipping for your groceries—it might take a little more time but it keeps your bills lower,” says Williams. Some for-profit landlords, she says, resist cost cutting because it “runs counter to their end goal of potentially raising the rent on some of those units.”

Freund of RSA disputed this accusation, arguing that landlords always want to bring down their costs. Furthermore, he said nonprofit developers are at an advantage to for-profit landlords because they are exempted from property taxes, which are expected to grow by double digits in some parts of the city this year. (Many for-profit developers also receive property tax exemptions, however, such as those who obtain 421a tax credits.)

All in all, without other tools to offset landlord costs, it’s likely unsustainable to have rent freezes forevermore, especially with the PIOC expected to grow by 4.5 percent from 2016 to 2017. Yet it’s truly unclear how much a few years of little-to-no rent increases has affected landlords’ profits or harmed the housing stock.

And what landlords believe they can bare may depend on how they view their mission—from Short, who says rent stabilized housing is “one of our most important affordable housing resources” to Forrest City Ratner’s Scott Walsh, who says we’ve lost sight of the original justification for rent stabilization.

“The program was designed to smooth out a very supply-constrained market. The program’s initial mandate was not to provide affordable housing,” says Walsh. “The city has other mechanisms to do that through NYCHA and other programs.”

* * * *

The Rent Guidelines Board will hold hearings about its 2016-2017 rate decision over the next several weeks.

On Tuesday, May 3, at 7 p.m. there will be a public meeting and preliminary vote at Proshansky Auditorium in The CUNY Graduate Center’s basement at 365 Fifth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets. Thursday, May 26 will see a 9:30 a.m. meeting in the conference room of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, located on the 9th floor of the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street in Manhattan.

The rest of the board’s schedule is TBA and will be posted here.

The reports on which RGB is supposed to base its decision are:
2016 Price Index of Operating Costs
2016 Mortgage Survey Report
2016 Income and Affordability Study
2016 Income and Expense Study

  • LincolnTony

    You do realize that landlords finance their properties right? What that means is that a lot of the time, much of that profit you seem to think landlords are making is actually going to pay the mortgage.

    Also not every landlord has owned their property for 30 years. Some are like me and bought their property just a few years ago. You also seem to mistakenly believe that actual landlords are doing better based solely on lower natural resource costs. The article mentioned that practically every other cost increased. Taxes, insurance, labor, etc. The small cut in energy expenses does not make up for all of the other increased costs, it’s not even close.

    • native new yorker

      Comrade deBlasio won’t understand that until we have a repeat of the 1970s cycle of neglect and abandonment. It can happen again.

      • JEng

        he absolutely does understand and this is intentional and targeted bullying – no other press would allow the mendacity of cherrypicking the sole decreased expense and ignoring the rise in all other expenses to justify a rent freeze and threaten a rent rollback like a horse trader pretending to compromise when really one side is being harmed.

    • JEng

      They’re encouraging gloating mendacity from tenants and the State government is absolutely in on it including the Republicans because unlike NYCHA, they refuse to require income verification to justify that these tenants are due special subsidization. They are actually forcing us all to go without healthcare and quality of life so that my brother uses his low salary and my mother uses her social security to fund people who are richer than we are.

      We have an apartment of a gangster family who own buildings, we have successful Malaysian restauranteurs who don’t live in their apartment but use it as some kind of clubhouse for their teenage sons to bring different girls home and act special because they have a working class bolthole (not their only one) when their uncle across the street owns a million dollar condo in Hester Gardens, we have Don B Lee and his sister who only now are going in to slowly minimize their hoarded up and unlived in apartment while their neighbor who picks up the mail for them visits and also has other addresses including a house now you have this gorgeous well rested older Black woman who had a cushy office job fighting for a rent rollback when the that creep Rent Guidelines Board is bloodless in their indifference to the embedded dishonesty in such a demand from somoene of her financial background.

    • JEng

      It’s simply baldfaced lying – they know how high our expenses have grown especially the water bill which has almost doubled and they pull out one small thing like fuel that does not compare to the high expenses and then freeze or even rollback (what does that mean) rents while still RAISING real estate taxes.

      That is what they did to our building at 117 Mott Street in Manhattan. They don’t make any sense and the federal prosecutor and the NYS attorney general won’t do anything about it.

    • JEng

      the level of abuse and dishonesty in legislation and the press coverage is unbelievable and it hasn’t happened anywhere else but it will because the press is using a particular type of browbeating tone that has nothing to do with the fact that these are not social welfare tenants based on need but private beneficiaries of forced private subsidization and it is all for propaganda. They used us so they don’t actually have to do anything about poor people – NYCHA is just SPURA _ holding that waterfront real estate for developers hence the crap repairs and constant demand for money from federal and state – very corrupt. It’s such a joke and they want the same thing to happen to Hong Kong and apparently China is okay with it – they know what is going on with NYC and they still overpay for real estate here so … that’s the real face of Chinese government maybe.

      Oh well.

  • The problem that we have is that the RGB tries to manage owners’ ‘average’ profits, while the owners (especially small ones) experience a lot of variation in results depending on how often their tenants move.

    A multi-year rent freeze, coupled with increasing costs puts more (not necessarily all) buildings in ‘distressed’ mode, at which point the owners stop managing the buildings as a going concern and stop doing maintenance.

    More generally, most other rent regulated jurisdictions have predictable formulas for rent increases that are not set by political appointees of a mayor seeking re-election.

  • Vanderlyn

    “In the years 2012 through 2014, landlords spent an average of roughly
    $10,800 per unit annually and realized about $5,500 in net operating
    income—a roughly 50 percent return.”

    The above example makes no sense. The scenario would represent a 50% return only if the landlord had received the building for free. Most landlords, with the exception of heirs, do not receive their buildings for free – they pay for them. As a result, returns are calculated by dividing the net operating income (or profit) by the cost, not by dividing the net income by the annual expenses. So in the above example, if someone paid $100,000 per unit (typical for a Bronx apartment building), the return would be 5.5%. This is how real estate finance works.

    The author really should address the above example – it’s an incoherent approach to basic real estate finance.

    • JEng

      There is no way that is true of all landlords. We are charged $190,000 in property taxes alone on a building that does not collect that much in total rents and it was raised so this city government is buying votes from tenants and there is no oversight and no deterrent and it it just getting worse – they could care less about Preet Bharara who is careful to not prosecute on anything that would actually ruin the gravy train of corruption and bias in NYC.

      We haven’t raised rents and continue to do repairs since 1998 so I have no idea what this shiddy city government intends to do with a rent rollback?

      They want a REFUND on WHAT? $234 each for two hoarded up 1-bedroom apartments including one claimed by Sheldon Silver wannabe Don B Lee who also owns a house in Brooklyn and his wife owns in Battery Park City and a Park Police with multiple addresses including a house in Blakeslee Pennyslvania , $303 for a 2-bedroom used as the post prison address of Chan WIng Lok one fo the gangsters who murdered the landlord, $400 for a 3 bedroom VISITED on a daily basis by a woman who has condos all over Chinatown and $700 for a 2-bedroom overcrowded by HK Chinese who cause water damage on a regular basis and used to run an illegal commercial kitchen for making coca cola chicken to sell at a nearby food court and now demand that the damage they made including grease be cleaned up by my mother.

      The situation is hellish and the city government is sadistic about our situation – they raised our taxes after we submitted an RPIE and requested an audit and they gave us the runaround when we tried to get help from them.

      https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=rent+rollback&tbm=nws&tbs=qdr:y

      • ben

        JEng is lying about nearly everything in this post. Her building is 117 mott street: http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/statements/asr/jsp/stmtassessasr.jsp?statementId=250913139

        the building’s valuation in 2016/2017 is 823k and NYC’s property tax rate for class 2 buildings is a little under 13%. You can look up the historical property tax rates on the NYC website. For this fiscal year her property taxes are a little over 106k. A few minutes searching on streeteasy will show that 9 of the 11 apartments have been listed there in the last 4 years and some of the large apartments on the top floors are fetching 6000/mo plus. If the streeteasy closing prices are accurate she is making something like 35k/mo from just the residential tenants. Google image search shows a vacant commercial storefront that, if rented, could easily cover the entire yearly tax bill.

        • JEng

          That is an absolute lie. Our taxes are above 170k and we only have three apartments that are market – the 1 bedroom has been rented at 1900 with no rent hike, the 2 bedroom has been stable at 2600 and the 5 bedroom has actually fallen in rent to now 6150 and the leases go on for about three years or more unless the tenants themselves move out or if they leave broken glass repeatedly in the recyclables AND hoard food in the trash for a long time.

          Why would you LIE and say our taxes are lower than they actually are? Walk over to the tax dept and ASK them – they will tell you how HIGH our taxes are.

          The seven regulated

          -don b lee and or susan lee neither of them reside are 234 for the 1 bedroom and show up in – brooklyn and bpc and family owns in hong kong
          -sun chin is 234 for the 1 bedroom 3C and owns in blakeslee as well as shows up in Brooklyn
          -the triad murderer of my father and the brother in law tenant of record pays 303 for a 2 bedroom
          -the HK tailor now overcrowding with a total of 5 people and AAFE won’t help in anyway is paying 700 for a 2 bedroom
          -the ballroom dancer who bragged about her house in jersey and grandson at nyu law pays 404 for a 3 bedroom
          -Voon Fee Young of King’s Chinese in Freehold who owns a corner house in Flushing uprgraded from a 3 bedroom condo owned when he demanded a free hotel room from Red Cross pays nothing for more than 15 years on a 3 bedroom that he was paying $1000 that was actually lowered because my mother is ridiculous and on multiple leases LOWERED the rent at the new tenant’s request so the rent should actually be 1600 but we haven’t collected rent in more than a decade

          why don’t you call Benjamin Seides in Chicago about cancelling $20,000 in rent money orders after overstaying beyond 9/11, ben?

          • ben

            I linked to the city website that states your property’s valuation. All the tax bills are there as well. Are you saying that the agency responsible for levying your property taxes is lying about them on its own website, using public data? lol

            Streeteasy has apartment listings going back to 2012: http://streeteasy.com/building/117-mott-street-manhattan#tab_building_detail=3

            9 of your 11 apartments are listed there. Taking the most recent list prices you are making $35k/mo.

            google street view shows a vacant storefront that could easily bring you $30k/mo if you just rented it out.

            You listed apartment 3C on streeteasy in 2014: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1226137 which would be difficult to do if it were occupied by a rent regulated tenant. in 2014 $2600 was above the luxury decontrol threshold. If all of these apartments are occupied by long-term rent regulated tenants why are you listing them – clearly vacant according to the images – on a popular property rental listing website?

            If you have tenants who are not living in their apartments you can get them out by taking them to court on a golub. If you have a tenant who isn’t paying rent you can evict them.

            Also what is the point of complaining about high property taxes when you haven’t even bothered paying them for years: http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/StatementSearch?bbl=1002050020&stmtDate=20160603&stmtType=SOA

            You owe 800k in back property taxes on 117 mott street.

          • JEng

            no 9 out of 11 are NOT listed’

            physically we only have 10 apartments in the building and if the brokers becuase only brokers listed for streeteasy misidentified the apartments, that is not our problem

            you cynically – despite photos identiifying that apartments were being relisted – claim that 9 are deregulated and at market prices.

            Only three.

            4c the man passed, then the lady went into a care home, then the son of the man but not the woman appeared with Lee Association to scare my mother and demanded money and she GAVE It to them

            3B the restaurant Pho Bang had it and never returned after the arson, the previous tenant died in the apartment but was very nice and used to come to the bakery every night to get a fruit cake and a coffee

            the duplex

            4A and 5A and only 4A was litigated and only after 3A left screaming messages about how 4A scared her with his giant dog and 4A was paid after his other rent regulated unit was at risk, his house in queens and his son’s house in short hills.

            ONLY THREE and we’re priced to beat neighbors.

          • ben

            So who put up those listings? Where did those prices come from? How did you get photos of the apartments with no furniture in them? lol

            I didn’t say that 9 are deregulated, I said that 3C was. Lots of those prices listed on streeteasy are above the deregulation threshold.

            You still haven’t addressed the issue of the vacant commercial storefront. That could bring in enough money to cover all your quarterly taxes.

          • JEng

            3c is not deregulated. The brokers probably listed the apartments under different apartment numbers by mistake but the pictures should unmistakably indicate that they are for the same units.

            only 3 out of 10 are market and at full occupancy, they are not enough to carry the other 7 including Voon Fee Young who never returned the keys to the apartment and continues to have guests going in and out but claims to have surrendered in the “late 1990s” and has also pretended and lied on recording that he is not himself or his alias Fred when we call him or approach him on the street where he is standing with his wife.

            I can only imagine that your citing streeteasy listings are so that future prospective tenants will find your posts and be discouraged from renting from us.

            So be it.

            I am telling the truth. This city targets tenements with overtaxation to benefit interested buyers possibly even themselves. Don B Lee is friends with a former bookkeeper at City Hall who bragged that he had so little to do that he would scour the tax records to see what deals he picks up and he has loads of income property condos and even buildings.

            Nice access. And all you need is someone in the mailroom to make sure that my mother every year for several years was specifically not getting the RPIE forms or the notices so that she was always behind on finding out what had happened.

            How is it not outrageous that there is FAKE good news that I can’t even bear to tell her that knowing our RPIE, the city actually charged us took everything after other expenses so we are still out of pocket but now they can have another notch in their icy Mean Girl belt of not helping and still harming us but have now created deniabilty.

            Ohh, we TRIED to help but they’re just so ungrateful – here’s the proof we lowered the overcharge so that we are overcharging them less.

            We need an audit and we need them to remove the overcharge completely. They can’t lower this year when they raised last year PLUS have comparable buildings with lower taxes or worse lowered after certiorari without this being an admission of guilt.

            I told Mr. Newmann when he was Tax Commissioner that the city admits its guilt that would cause a private landlord a great deal of trouble and condemnation if the landlord overcharged in this way by indicating that they habitually overcharge and only correct when forced to by certiorari.

            I’m sure I told the federal prosecutor this as well.

            it’s a no brainer.

            If these buildings were apartments and a landlord overcharged all 10 of them but only one of them complained and got a rent reduction, but ever year after that the other 9 not only never got refunded once the landlord was made aware of the inequity but was again overcharged even more – that’s KNOWING that you were in the wrong and still committing that wrong.

            Get it? That makes it worse for that landlord.

            Now replace landlord with NYC government.

            I TOLD Mr. Newmann that this was a good case for some lawyer – even a class action lawsuit.

            But I don’t see any interest in correction and I can’t afford to hire Mr. Newmann who is a very nice man and is now in private practice. I can’t afford Adam Leitman Bailey.

            This is a clear case of abuse as is ignoring all increased expenses and citing the solitary decreased expense to justify a rent freeze.

            Welcome to New York, empty out all your pockets and take off all your clothes and sign over your future indebtedness so you are marked forever as evil greedy slumlords who owe money even when you don’t have a building anymore and unlike the mayor and Don B Lee, I never got subsidized on college and anything else and I don’t see anybody who brags like they do about being horatio algers ever turning around and repaying that subsidization in full.

            Or am I wrong? does it not smell like that when they used the RPIE not to reduce the overcharge but to reduce for deniability and still take everything you’ve got?

          • JEng

            Everywhere that we asked for help, we asked for an audit and now you are claiming that someone else’s errors on streeteasy are secret justification for the city government to ignore us and continue to raise our taxes from 170k to 190k. You also lied and said we were 100k without proof but are willing to go by property shark which while lower than reality at 155k is still more than we collect, more than triple what a comparable building 111 Mott Street is charged at 45k and is still more than a building twice our size with 24 units and 2 stores instead of 10 units and 1 store is charged at 130k at 102-104 Mott Street across the street.

            No matter what there is no excuse for the city to make up excuses so they can discriminate against one building and for the press to ignore it.

          • JEng

            I don;t know wehre you are seeing the tax at 100k. We were at 170k and that went up to nearly 190k are you saying those unfair figures don’t exist?

            EVERY YEAR we are overcharged and my mother was TOLD that she had to pay ALL her taxes owed before she could argue for a reduction.

            We are charged for things that don’t exist not even at DOB – no elevator, no dumbwaiter, no signage.

          • ben

            I am citing the valuation done by the city. For this year your buildings taxable value is 823k and change. It’s a class 2 building. I just did the math.

            the only violations you have listed at DOB are related to construction:

            http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ECBQueryByLocationServlet?requestid=1&allbin=1002641
            http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ActionsByLocationServlet?requestid=1&allbin=1002641&allinquirytype=BXS4OCV3&stypeocv3=V

            and the most recent one is from 2012. The record clearly states that the elevator was removed due to fire damage, and all of the violations related to the building’s lack of an elevator was dismissed in 2013 without fines:

            http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ElevatorViolationsForRecordServlet?requestid=2&allbin=1002641&passrecordnumber=27091

            Why do you continue this? Almost everything you are saying is countered by information that is PUBLIC.

          • JEng

            the DOB record clearly states what is removed and they casually wiped out the fines BUT DOF refuses to wipe charges every year for nonexistent dumbwaiter and signage.

            Also, I don’t know where you are seeing the taxes lowering from 190k to 100k but that would mean that we are probably still highest on our block or just as high as the office building on the block AND it means they are taking more than two thirds of collected rents for themselves BEFORE expenses AND worse

            here’s the emotional violence at play in addition to the financial sabotage and I don’t know if Mary Pao in the tax commissioner’s office is personally responsible for doing this –

            this means they took just enough to leave us with ZERO after expenses while lowering the overcharge so that it remains an overcharge … to create deniability.

            Get it?

            That’s how venomous this administration is and the one before it – probably because of sponsored content.

            Can your brain figure out that they are STILL overcharging while lowering does not give us false hope that they are actually trying to correct an overcharging but that reduced just enough to still take everything based on the RPIE – they still take more AFTER our expenses than we genuinely have.

            GET IT?

            And they know who we are because we’ve contacted all of them and they KNEW what they were doing.

            And I don’t have any outside help or deterrent – they don’t care – the federal prosecutor refuses to touch property taxes even though Sheldon Silver was involved with a certiorari firm.

            This is sinister because of how precise the decrease is – not enough to be genuinely fair – there are bigger never vacant buildings paying 30k per year.

            Leticia James’ office LAUGHED at us. We are the only ones who are getting this city administration in its unmasked form. Everyone else is getting their press releases and the press is happy to play along – any critiques are carefully shy of the mark.

          • JEng

            maybe your lying posts will deter future market tenants but I am LOSING our 1 bedroom market tenant and I can’t replace her and YES I would hike the rent up to market because it was deregulated thanks to a whole bunch of Germans and French tenants who didn’t mind the neighborhood back in the day when people ignored our listings (Broker free)

            but this tenant’s apartment smelled like flowers every and she was CLEAN – and she won’t sign a renewal even though we rent froze her and it might have a little to do with the fact that we coulnd’t get Don B Lee who is running for office to provide access last year for heating complaints when in the past a stopped up air valve in the bathroom riser in their top floor unit blocked steam flow (just turn it upside down or put tape over it – tenants all know this trick).

            This year wouldnt give access after she complained about a bug problem from the shower drain when her unit is the only one in that drain line being used – Sun Chin and Don Lee have filled their unused shower stalls with hoarding and we have the pipe to prove that for years, Don Lee’s 5C was not using any drains so that there were giant corroded holes possibly from someone using corrosives without running water afterwards and the minute you used the kitchen, shower or bathroom sink drain, water would flood apartment 3C below skipping 4C.

            ask him how he claimed residency to be on the community board if he never used any of the drains as a genuine tenant even if he was a sushi defense tenant?

            so now I lose a good tenant with a local guarantor.

          • JEng

            go ask them – call em up – don lee is on facebook – he’s all over the place

          • JEng

            That’s not true at all. We are overvalued and THIS year the RPIE removed the line where you can correct the valuation. THere are buildings valued in the low six figures but I also saw one in the low five figures.

            And you are continuing to misrepresent the facts without correcting them after I answer.

            Since I only get replies to my comments to try to cancel the validity of my comments and Pro Publica usually blocks my comments, is there some kind of sale of our building that I am not aware of.

            I remember there was an uncommon number of responses attempting to devalue my comments when the claim was erroneously made thanks to a deceptive NYTimes article that Netflix’ Fuller House was not available in China because netflix in China but it turned out that Fuller House was licensed to Sohu in China. I remember the verve and the venom of those attack comments similar to your misleading comments.

            Why is Pro Publica hosting your comments that attempt to misdirect from the blatant and ongoing injustice of NYC’s overtaxation on our building. We don’t owe 800k in back taxes, we are overcharged 800k in taxes.

            The equivalent is a landlord overcharging the rent and then demanding payment. In the landlord’s case, they would be subject to treble damages but no such deterrent is in place agains the NYC government. And their certiorari reductions and then subsequent ongoing overcharges on buildings that did not do certiorari are an admission of guilt.

            No landlord could get away with that yet no one is interested in pursuing this not even Preet Bharara the federal prosecutor.

            Maybe it matters who the victim is.

            Revenge of the Green Dragons showed On Leong’s building and the inside stairwell of Lin Sing. It was less about the nastiness of the wayward gang members than the ones who get away with it. My father wasn’t an informant. He didn’t know anything and he didn’t want to be involved but he was specifically induced to join On Leong so that they could create the visual that he was involved with triad – they were always going to kill him even if the FBI hadn’t been hunting Chan Wing Yeung – so the KMT character assassination proceeded apace and Chan Wing Yeung was fine with it just like Raymond Chow won’t say boo about Leland Yee even though Raymond Chow is in jail for a long time – these criminals know better than to be on the wrong side of the KMT.

            However, the FBI had no excuse for making a big show of coming into Dad’s office and Dad screamed at them that they were trying to get him killed when the real informant was an actual criminal whose meetings with the FBI, the FBI kept hidden so that he was protected. Where is that person now? He’s safe, right? Now my father’s killers are not only “big help” informants but nobody touches them, why is that?

            I know how dirty it looks and how worthless my family is made to feel. And the MESSAGE that this is supposed to send has nothing to do with triad vs FBI because it’s unwarranted and would be misapplied in our case – this is not about talking to the FBI.

            This is about KMT smearing the Chinese central government and that plan is still in place and ongoing. Everybody knows who we are and nobody touches me until the KMT has successfully – in addition to the monstrous character assassination of the murder victim but his widow who still behaves like she is respectable and uncorrupted even when there is no money at all, even though she only has contact with the last sponsored immigrant once a year on the holidays if he calls, they don’t have anything to get her for so they overcharge her on real estate taxes so at least she looks like a disgusting evil greedy slumlord – which is why the press is the way it is in NYC – so one sided about tenement landlords and why they are deaf to the blatant injustice of the overtaxation.

            And China doesn’t help us at all because oversight is not their game – they play pick up after the fact and let their huge financial and reputation damaging losses go.

            This is really happening to my family. They had nothing on Dad and the FBI knew it and the triad had to get him into On Leong and the FBI foil response leaves unredacted what Dad said about being uninterested in the association network and how he felt about On Leong – yes, he said Taiwan and he said triad according to the report. So why would he join unless they told him after he refused twice (and he held a family meeting the first time and we all voted unanimously NO WAY we don’t want him in there) – then they told him via the old man who lived next door to my grandmother that nobody says no.

            So Dad got On Leong to draft a promise that no illegal activity would take place while he was in that position and they tricked him so that Chan Wing Yeung’s signature is on the last page while Dad’s signature is underneath the promise. And he realized that before he was killed because a white lawyer told him the promise was no good and Dad blamed it on not having an education.

            He was so sad.

            So if nobody saved him and my dad is really dead then this was a disgusting wrong against my family not just by KMT and the triad but also the FBI because they didn’t help him or protect him – they as Dad said used him possibly not knowing he was already targeted.

            I’m very surprised that Raymond Chow didn’t make a deal or maybe this was about a hunt to avenge the murder of a KMT murder victim and the FBI was never going to make a deal with him.

            I didn’t feel that Tony Serra did right by Raymond Chow. It looked like a deal kind of situation.

            Chan Wing Yeung and his brothers are not deported as the prosecutor Ben Campbell voluntarily claimed. I’m not sure what their punishment was if at all. Nobody would tell me when I asked.

          • JEng

            if it was removed why are the charging us for it??

          • JEng

            We are overcharged 800k so that they can claim that not only was my murdered father a “Gang member” but so that the plaintiffs who LIED to the judge about how a pharmacy is legally a pharmacy could also claim a character smear on MY MOTHER who doesn’t have a mortgage and doesn’t have a credit card but somehow on paper thanks to NYC govt and whatever is sponsoring their content that she OWES nearly a million dollars like she is living high off the hog and not doing everything without a salary but also writing checks INTO the company every month BECAUSE NYC did this to us – but not to themselves – not to Melissa Mark Viveritos and NOT to Mayor De Blasio.

            They controlled her and they lied about her by overcharging her so every penny goes into the building – she can prove it with ten years of writing checks into the company.

          • JEng

            they couldn’t get my mother to be smeared as a slut by having their married crony grab her repeatedly after the murder. they couldn’t get her to take cash and not report it to the IRS for rent – the bank even asked her about it – they couldn’t get her to agree to take out office equipment leases and then renege to smear her that way.

            MY FATHER and my mother were absolutely clean – my father is still clean unlike what the NYTimes refuses to correct and so they went after my mother as well and could NOT smear her so they overtaxed her, lied to her face, gave her the runaround and I am her witness – until I started complaining about two years ago – DOF didn’t send her these specific tax bills- how’s that for shitty and intentional – no, that can’t possibly be true.

            but it is.
            this was on purpose to make her look dirty – it is IMPOSSIBLE that any of those tax bills were apropriate and I told them to audit us and they IGNORED us.

            all the tenants pay by cash, bills are paid by cash – you can audit her and she’ll survive it but they don’t wnat to prove she is clean becuase this whole thing was not jsut to cement the successful smear on my murdered father so that the disgusting new york times has this card in their back pocket that SOME DAY they can claim that ANY goody goody inside the Commie Chinese central government had dealings with triad – my father was MURDERED by the KMT triad and he was bullied by them for years before that – but the NYTimes covers up for KMT triad and so does the rest of the NYC press and it is SO Important that my mother for some reason has to be sullied as well – couldn’t get her on ANYTHING – she deposited and paid taxes on cash payments- she wouldn’t even take itemized expenses on office supplies.

            They murdered a CLEAN man and LIED to serve their collaborator greed for KMT heroin money and because those Commies won’t play ball. Then they drive my mother crazy with her screaming in her hospital bed (accidentally recorded) about the real estate taxes that make her feel awful for YEARS because the post arson store goes unrented.

            That is a lot of emotional violence on one person and she didn’t do anything to anyone except her kids. They had NO Right to overcharge her, no right to act like social justice warriors and ignore our pleas for help.

            YOU cannot tell me that an overcharge exceeding each year’s collected rents BEFORE expenses is appropriate and must be paid.

            But now she’s smeared as well. Just in time for this lawsuit.

          • JEng

            we are not making 30k. that is impossible how are you getting that figure.

            Your claim of a rent reduction is equivalent to two thirds of total collected rents?

            Now why would you make so many false comments? You sound very similar to the woman I spoke to from Leticia James office making false statements gleefully and completely ignoring the fact that even if they lowered us to 110k that is still completely abnormal for the neighborhoods around us especially for 7 out of 10 regulated apartments.

            Are you hinting that these brokers who never gave us more than one tenant to choose from unlike 111 Mott – intentionally mislisted these units so that it appeared that we had 9 out of 10 market apartments?

            So that people in the tax commission could claim we were lying and refused to audit us and were justified in continuing to overcharge us?

            DO a google!
            5C – don b lee future assembly speaker and NYTIMES pet and susan lee $234 1 bedroom- I think he even used the address to get on the community board when the mayor was public advocate and going to meetings with him

            5B – tim loy tse, wai hing tse, rachel tse and her parents – their phone number is public $700 2 bedroom

            4B – Ng Siu Pui whose sons both own houses and still get their mail sent to the building to claim succession and his wife, murderer and triad leader, Chan Wing Yeung – Lai Kai or Lai King Ng who is buddies with a woman who harassed my mother while she was taking the garbage and laughed and said everybody films everybody $303 2 bedroom

            3C – Sun Chin – do a google and talk to the Pennsylvania state trooper who remembers that he insisted that the Blakeslee post office address be used instead of his street address on Adirondack Drive when simply having a Penn driver’s license means you swear that you are a full time resident of the state – $234 1 bedroom

            3A – NancyNg also in the phone book as well as at other addresses – $400 3-bedroom

            2A – Voon Fee Young – what a darling homeowner upgraded from 3 bedroom condo owner in Flushing and “Fred” on yelp and tripadvisor reviews during the time that he lied to us that he was not himself and also no longer in NYC when he never surrendered the apartment – gets a restaurant from his brother who owns a million dollar condo across the street at Hester Gardens and a mansion in New jersey.

            2B is the only one that is empty and i guess the first time we had a unit for ourselves – the late tenant pulled electricity that we can’t afford to correct so we can’t re-rent it but my mother sometimes will say out of the blue that her family was the only time someone in this building was nice to her – they gave back the apartment days after the funeral and never asked for any money and I still owe our contractor a smartphone for dropping everything in the middle of the day to see to her bathroom light. My mother told everyone that they gave her back that unit without saying anything mean to her or bringing up the Lee Association or asking for anything and they collected everything perfectly hoping her clean and tidy clothes could be of interest to Salvation Army.

            And even after she got sick, unlike other old people, she was still clean and never smelled bad so she was dolled up to the very end.

            That’s our seven and just having 2B knowing we can take a shower between snow shoveling – you have no idea – and it’s only one flight up so that my knees which today is feeling bumpy and my mother is having a fit over them – it could be worse. One flight is the best that we can manage it.

            Stop saying we have 9 market – we don’t have 9 market. We have three.

            Do a google – go ask Don B Lee at his new “office” in Chinatown. Go to the Park Police and ask for Sun Chin.

            Ask the FBI about Chan Wing Lok’s post prison address for murdering my father – he gave 4B and he’s a “big help” informant but there’s no danger to him and no backlash or payback from OC – why is that?

            Go ask Nancy Ng and find out who her grandson is from NYU Law.

            Go ask Voon Fee Young, go ask Yoke San Soo his brother in law why mail is sent to the building when he owns a house in Flusing and runs Sentosa in Flusing according to a lawsuit found on google.

            Go ask Sherman and Sammy Ng why they get mail sent to 4B when they don’t live there and own houses and cars and have children.

            Go ask the Tses or their boss at 80 Bowery who tailors for City Hall big shots – the Tses didn’t move back to HK (do they have public housing there that they are renting out? ) – the Tses are in NYC with a son in Flushing and this claimed son, daughter in law and granddaughter Rachel. Their 5B isn’t listed on streeteasy.

            So where do you get off lying and claiming we have 9 market apartments?

            Go ask them.

          • ben

            I am getting 30k from the listings on streeteasy. I didn’t make those – you or your broker did. You wouldn’t have listed apartments that weren’t available, and you chose the prices. It seems safe to assume that you got the prices you asked when the listings were taken down.

            Again, all of this information is public and available for anyone to review online.

          • JEng

            30k from what? The rents are not 30k total every month. We filled out the RPIE which is probably public information as well but more importantly the tenants are in place – you can ask Sun Chin Park Police if he is paying $234 for a one bedroom filled with hoarding. You can ask convicted triad murderer Chan WIng Lok or Ng Sui Pui if they are paying $303 for a 2 bedroom or ask Nancy Ng in her 3 bedroom if she is paying $400.

            Why is City Limits uncharacteristically hosting these comments? Why not just do a story and upload the recordings we have of these tenants including a woman who resembles Don Lee’s partner at Homecrest trying to hit my mother in the forehead repeatedly and also in the early morning, Nancy Ng pouring hot water down the stairs so it looked and sounded like Niagara Falls.

            We went into the building with the handycam recording because my mother was afraid someone would hit her and we heard water then we saw water. Nancy Ng was on tape pouring giant woks of hot water while every faucet was running hot water full blast down the drain – that’s not malicious or cruel to cost us hot water at all.

            That’s lovely. We’re so proud of our regulated tenants as all of Chinatown and AAFE should be.

            I don’t know how to include the recordings or pdfs like of Don Lee’s mortgage in Brooklyn into disqus comments but if Pro Publica is willing to do a story – why not?

            Why the cover up of tenant misconduct in NYC?

            How is that fair and balanced recording?

            Only Jared Kushner gets to have a voice about bad tenants.

          • ben

            Listing the names of your tenants without their permission is probably a crime, and if they are who you say they are then you should doubly consider not doing it…

            you seriously expect me to look up phone numbers on these people and call them and ask them to tell me what they pay in rent? and you think they will tell me? lolololololololol

            For the second time, we are talking on citylimits.org not pro publica.

            If you have that on tape now you have a nuisance eviction claim, which no judge would deny: http://www.tenant.net/Rent_Laws/rsc/rsc2524.html

            If you aren’t evicting these tenants that is YOUR FAULT. You have claims against them which are easily documented.

            You can upload PDFs to http://www.scribd.com for free. Have at it. You can upload videos to youtube.

          • JEng

            If it’s the truth and even if it connects to a negative opinion that I am offering the evidence to the press – then I have more than Susan Lee going around telling people like Peter Eng that my mother set fire to her own building on her murdered husband’s birthday so she could kick out Chinese tenatns and move in White tenants.

            The truth is the truth. Benjamin Seides cancelled 20k in rent checks. Angus Ni sent us hostile emails about our vacancy. A woman resembling the executive at Don Lee’s Homecrest senior center where Peter Liang is volunteering did attempt to strike my mother’s forehead several times.

            And you are deceptive in claiming that tenants can be easily evicted or that Housing Court is not biased towards them. The city intentionally overtaxed us so we can’t afford anything not even medical care for ourselves unlike tenants who own houses and can still get free legal representation from AAFE.

          • JEng

            My comment and your first post on the matter originated and should remain on Pro Publica.

            https://www.propublica.org/article/this-is-what-new-yorks-voluntary-compliance-for-landlords-looks-like

          • ben

            “So where do you get off lying and claiming we have 9 market apartments?”

            So I went back in time, impersonated a real estate broker, falsely listed apartments on streeteasy, just to be able to come on here and tell you about them? If that’s what you think you really are deranged.

            For the second or third time, I did not say that you had 9 market rate apartments. I said all of your tenants were recent and you chose their rents. I said ONE apartment was market (which it would have had to be based on the price and the date it was listed because of the decontrol threshold at the time).

            unit 2, listed in 2012 for $3000, above the luxury decontrol level: http://streeteasy.com/rental/872640

            unit 3, listed six times between 2012 and 2015 for between $1900 and $2800, again above the deregulation level: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1544700

            unit 3b, listed 5 times in 2015 and 2016 and rented for $2650 in January of this year: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1707689

            unit 3C listed in february of 2012 and rented for $2600, $100 below the luxury decontrol level: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1226137

            unit 3F, listed in January 2014 for $2600: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1220036

            unit 4, listed 6 times in 2012 and 2013, rented for $2300: http://streeteasy.com/rental/974810

            unit 4E, listed february of this year, and rented for $6500: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1707253

            unit 5B listed 12/12/2015 for $6500: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1707253

            unit 5e listed 2/23/2016 for $6195 and rented: http://streeteasy.com/rental/1730503

            All I did was add up the most recent amounts for each apartment. Notice that 9 of them of the 10 (or 11, which streeteasy seems to think the building has) have been listed since 2012. You can’t have tenants paying $400 since the 1980s if you are listing the apartments on real estate website for 5x times that amount.

            And here is your empty storefront that could easily rent for tens of thousands of dollars a month: http://tinyurl.com/zq6k9fl Why aren’t you putting someone in there? Even if your tax bills were 190k that’s just 16k a month, which you could EASILY charge a commercial tenant for that first floor place.

            If you live in the building why is there the address of a lovely little private home on 126th street in flushing listed as the registered agent’s house in the department of buildings?

          • JEng

            The apartment designations used by the brokers are inaccurate. We only have 3 market apartments 3B, 4C and 4D all deregulated on a lower deregulated rent threshold than $2700.

            As you can see, there is a Store For Rent sign but no takers and we are below market.

            Why don’t you google and call the tenants and ask them how they manage to have real estate elsewhere when they claim primary residency at this building? But I have a feeling that the developers have already done so.

          • ben

            So now there is a conspiracy of brokers against you, too? lol

            The deregulation threshold is 2700 now but it was raised just last year. At the time many of those listings went up the deregulation threshold was $2500 and for some it was $2000.

            You cannot find a commercial tenant in that neighborhood? Come on… Try harder maybe.

            If you can prove that your tenants own property then you can take them to court and evict them on golub for non-prime. If you’re not doing that whose fault is that? Theirs? Use the law! If they aren’t living there, get evidence against them (run a credit check and install some cameras for crying out loud) and get them out! Landlords all over the city do this on a daily basis.

          • JEng

            Haven’t you NOTICED – my mother is OVERCHARGED on her taxes, she is not able to afford a dentist. She has been writing checks into the building for ten years.

            And yes we lowered the rent after deregulation which we were told we could safely do if we wanted the kind of tenant willing to go through a broker -they are more willing to do all the paperwork than the ones who do not go through a broker.

            We deregulated an apartment for 2000; the girls move to UES after one year of Nancy Ng complaining about them; the same broker found us tenants to pay the same price; after one year, they demanded a rent reduction and renewal; my mother gave it to them; after the arson, they sued for overcharge; the attorneys scoured mom’s records to make sure because the insurance defense attorneys were handling the overcharge and if we had been found to have been in the wrong, we would have been liable for the insurance defense attorneys’ legal fees; the first tenant who had moved back to California fed-exed her copy of the initial rent registration with the 2000 rent and we never heard from the plaintiffs again – maybe insurance defense paid them a settlement to end the case but we were never told or asked to sign anything and we definitely were never charged the insurance defense legal fees so I guess we were cleared of wrongdoing.

          • JEng

            I never said there was a conspiracy of brokers but all those listings ARE by brokers – so if they made a mistake or even did it on purpose, it still is not a justifcation for the tax assessor to overtax us again.

          • JEng

            I have no idea why the brokers made the mistake of listing the wrong apartments but I don’t see how that is our fault.

            Just contact the 6 other rent regulated tenants and ask them. Call Voon Fee Young aka Fred at King’s Chinese in Freehold New Jersey. Call Don B Lee at his campaign office or facebook him.

            We are 7 out of 10 rent regulated. We are overcharged on our taxes.

          • ben

            These are the 2016/2017 property valuations for the neighboring buildings:

            119 mott: tax class 2, valuation $914,850
            115 mott: tax class 2, valuation $681,210
            113 mott: tax class 2, valuation $484,650
            121 mott: tax class 2, valuation $853,380
            116 mott: tax class 2, valuation $1,831,230

            They are all charged the same rate of property taxes you are, 12.892%. Your tax bill seems to be just about smack in the middle.

            Let’s assume the broker made mistakes in the listings and those are lots of duplicates. You still have the problem that your tenants are taking advantage of you AND YOU AREN’T DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Multiple tenants in my building were evicted for non-prime because the landlord did a credit check and took them to court. If you have tenants who are on mortgages you can simply evict them. Why aren’t you doing it?

          • JEng

            Our valuation is over a million compared to these buildings. You are not using the same valuations for them as you are for us and that is why you are refusing to use the titles for those numbers.

            Why are you so intent on misrepresenting our heinous and obvious situation. The city government and the press obviously don’t mind being indifferent and dishonest exactly like they didn’t mind smearing my father as being both a GANG MEMBER (New York Times) AND a business partner of his killers (Molly Gordy now of the MTA).

            But why do YOU care? They charged us 170k hiked up to 190k and you refuse to admit that fact.

            And why dont’ you post pictures of those buildings to highlight the fact that 116 is a corner building and HUGE. We shouldn’t be anywhere near that valuation.

          • ben

            No, I am using the valuations LISTED IN THE DOCUMENTS BY THE CITY. Buildings are not taxed based on “estimated market value” they’re taxed based on “billable assessed value.” If the city billed you for the market value they made a boo boo and you should just go tell them to fix it 🙂

            I just posted your billable assessed value history with the relevant documentation from DOB going back several years.

            I am not misrepresenting ANYTHING. I am posting information which is a matter of public record and is the basis for all of your complaints. For years you’ve come on to every article about real estate in new york city to complain about how you – and by extension all landlords – are abused and debased by the laws. And finally you mentioned what building you own, which means we can check the veracity of your claims. They aren’t holding up well.

            Again, if you think your assessments are wrong you can challenge them. There is a formal process for doing this: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/taxes/challenge-your-assessment.page

          • JEng

            then why are you claiming we are in the same ballpark

            that is NOT true

            you are claiming that we are 2 million and then you claiming that we are comparable to our neighbors

            look at the size and the income of those fully rented buildings – that’s how you know the valuations are WRONG and intentionally so because we contacted the tax assessor.

          • JEng

            Why aren’t you listing 111 Mott Street?

          • ben

            because I stopped at five. I figured that was a good enough sample. 111 mott has a valuation of 383,910 which you’re right is lower than yours. The only problem is that 111 mott street’s primary address is 158 Hester St and it’s a brand-new construction. Almost certainly they applied for and received some form of tax abatement (421-a, J-51, etc) in exchange for making some of their units lower price.

          • JEng

            it’s not brand new construction – that’s the old Chiu Chow restaurant and the doorway to the apartments has been restored to show the original turn of the previous century’s brick.

          • ben

            it looks new from the exterior, and like I mentioned they could still have a tax abatement

          • JEng

            no it does not look new

            111 is a typical tenement

            why don;t you post their streeteasy listings and their building?

            why are you avoiding 111?

          • ben

            http://streeteasy.com/building/hester-gardens#tab_building_detail=3

            Lots of juicy apartments being rented in there for $3k-7k.

            Let me summarize your situation:

            1) You inherited a building in one of the most in-demand and pricey neighborhoods in Manhattan from your parents

            2) You claim that most of the apartments are rent stabilized and occupied by tenants who pay very little.

            3) These tenants are blatantly breaking the law and you have proof of it. You have video of one dumping boiling water down the stairs, which easily qualifies as a nuisance, and you didn’t evict her. You have proof that others own property and you haven’t evicted them based on non-prime.

            4) Many of these tenants you claim have underworld connections and yet you post their names and apartment numbers publicly, without fear of reprisal or concern for their privacy.

            5) You claim that your taxes are too high and yet they seem in line with other buildings in the area. 110 mott almost certainly has a tax abatement.

            6) You owe $800k in back taxes, which means no matter how high they are you haven’t been paying them anyways.

            7) Even if we assume that your tax bills of $190k/year are correct, you magically haven’t been able to find a commercial tenant to take your large (2500 square foot) first floor space, which is right next door to one of the oldest and most popular tourist attraction italian restaurants in little italy.

            It seems to me that your biggest enemy here is yourself. If every landlord in new york city were able to successfully mismanage their properties as badly as you seem to, the whole city would collapse

          • JEng

            They are not in line as you continue to refuse to acknowledge that there is a difference in the valuations an you still avoid comparing our taxes to 111 Mott Street and not only are we targeted to our space not being rented – I have hundreds of attempts to find tenants documented and our rents have been lower than neighbors as well as not taking key money but no one has a problem with murdering my father, smearing his reputation and sending a message with this unrented space. SO why are we overtaxed and punished undeservedly further – why is the city government exasperating a situation created by KMT triad murderers?

            That’s very suspicious and we were advised that we were the highest on the block by a reporter – we didnt know that we had been singled out for abuse.

          • JEng

            what are their real estate taxes if 111 Mott is doing so well?

          • JEng

            Does 111 have a friend in the tax assessors? Cuz I sure don’t.

            Is that how the taxes work? cuz it’s not based in fair play but Preet Bharara won’t touch it. Why is that?

            The designed lack of transparency and inequality is a weapon with deniability, correct?

            so why is Anbang turning the Waldorf into condos if it means a spike in real estate taxes? Who made that decision on behalf of Chinese shareholders including the state owned companies?

          • JEng

            it’s an italianate tenement – new construciton does not look like that

            why don’t you post a picture of the building or do you not want to offend or involve 111 Mott for some reason?

            why do you keep avoiding 111 mott?

          • ben

            I think we are confusing 111 mott and 110 mott. I thought 110 mott was new because of the (obviously) new facade on it. Its taxes are low which as I explained is probably because of a tax abatement.

            111 mott is an old tenement with 6 units and commercial space and its taxes are much lower than yours:

            http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/1422/111-Mott-St-New-York-NY-10013/

            why is their valuation so much lower than yours? Maybe because it has half as many units! Maybe it’s because he also has a tax abatement. Maybe you should try and get one of those 🙂

          • JEng

            what are his rents on streeteasy?

            why would he get a tax abatement?

          • JEng

            why don’t you ask AAFE how many units have changed hands at 111 mott street? and ask them how they could offer free legal services to homeowners claiming units where their relatives had passed away?

            that’s where their funding is going. why is that?

          • JEng

            111 is a full size building why are you halving their size?

            and 110 is hester garden condominiums – what are you saying their taxes are?

          • JEng

            it wouldnt explain why we are three times and more their taxes if we were twice their size and we are not.

            Property Taxes

            Tax year 2015/2016
            Current tax bill $47,240.67
            Projected tax bill $49,459.13
            Current assessed value $428,400
            Current value $952,000

            More about New York City Property Taxes
            Assessment History

            Year Use code Market value Assessed value Taxable Tax rate% Base tax Current property tax
            2013/14 C7 $749,000 $337,050 $337,050 13.145% $44,305 $45,740
            2012/13 C7 $796,000 $358,200 $349,470 13.181% $46,063 $46,063
            2011/12 C7 $822,000 $369,900 $343,830 13.433% $46,186 $46,186
            2010/11 C7 $744,000 $334,800 $331,140 13.353% $44,217 $44,217
            2009/10 C7 $769,000 $346,050 $321,330 13.241% $42,547 $42,547
            2008/09 C7 $752,000 $338,400 $337,770 12.596% $42,545 $42,545
            2007/08 C7 $1,130,000 $508,500 $327,780 11.928% $39,097 $39,097

          • JEng

            the mayor is personal friends with don lee

            maybe that is why are lesser earning building is more than triple the taxes than 111 mott street
            maybe they plan on becoming coowners of our building so thats why they tripled our taxes compared to another building that has more market apartments and is NOT half our size.

            that’s an easy lawsuit but no one in nyc would take our case.

          • JEng

            102-104 Mott Street has 24 apartments is twice the size of 117 Mott and in their sale ad claims there real estate taxes are 130k per year so we are being overcharged and there is NO justification for it.

            The tax assessor’s office is indifferent about the clear discrimination going on – why would they go after us? We’re not Steven Croman, not Misrahi, what is it about US that justifies this unfair treatment?

            If this is a three decades long propaganda campaign to show inexpensively and solely at my family’s expense that Chinatown and KMT triad territory than congratulations, it’s awesome that confluence of government press and law enforcement into making that a reality and clearly it’s a message shared by the Chinese government given their heavy investment and indifference to the characterization of the Chinese communists so who is this message for?

          • JEng

            why would you compare our ten unit building to a gigantic condo building?

          • JEng

            that pharmacy at 111 paid 12k for 900 square feet of space about five years ago and the landlord paid the fee to Alan Tam. We are asking 16k for almost 2500 square feet.

            Why don;t you post a picture of 111 if you are claimg that is new consruction as well as compare their streeteasy listings.

            They are very successful at getting back apartments.

          • JEng

            you wont specify what kind of valuation those numbers are alongside those numbers again.

            why don’t you just edit your comment by adding in the appropriate word and then put in the number of ours that you are comparing it to?

          • ben

            done

          • JEng

            no it’s not “done”

            this post remains and misleading:

            ben JEng • a day ago
            These are the 2016/2017 property valuations for the neighboring buildings:

            119 mott: tax class 2, valuation $914,850
            115 mott: tax class 2, valuation $681,210
            113 mott: tax class 2, valuation $484,650
            121 mott: tax class 2, valuation $853,380
            116 mott: tax class 2, valuation $1,831,230
            edit: 117 mott: tax class 2, valuation $823,950

            They are all charged the same rate of property taxes you are, 12.892%. Your tax bill seems to be just about smack in the middle.

            Let’s assume the broker made mistakes in the listings and those are lots of duplicates. You still have the problem that your tenants are taking advantage of you AND YOU AREN’T DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Multiple tenants in my building were evicted for non-prime because the landlord did a credit check and took them to court. If you have tenants who are on mortgages you can simply evict them. Why aren’t you doing it?
            • Reply•Share ›

          • ben

            just answer this one question: Who lives in the house on college point?

          • JEng

            that’s our starter home but we won’t tell you who lives in it presently or is not there anymore so that you know who can be expected for a home invasion.

          • ben

            I didn’t post the address and neither should you. I wasn’t asking for the name of the person – I just wanted to see if you lived in it. Which you apparently do! 🙂

          • JEng

            no all my paperwork is at 2B 🙂

            why dont you compare 111 mott to 117 mott?

          • JEng

            my number in apartment 2b is listed

          • JEng

            I also have an internet account.

          • JEng

            As for addresses, an intellectual property lawyer named Charles Chen at 113 Mott Street and Don B Lee at 117 Mott Street disposed of garbage with their addresses and get their garbage bags torn into on the street – my friend helped me clean up after Don lee and we called him immediately so that he wouldnt do it again since he had NO Idea what the garbage schedule was since his garbage indicated that he actually lived in Brooklyn.

            So a lot of fancy people have apartments on Mott Street but they shouldn’t play the victim when they have a better life than the landlords who paying for their cheap apartments that don’t cover expenses. Nobody SUED the rent guidelines board for the glaring omission of requiring that a unit had to cover its own expenses before qualifying for a rent freeze across the board.

            Isn’t that interesting that the city where the litigators pride themselves as being the best in the country and NOBODY thought to bring up an inequity that simpleminded Chinese PEASANT stock is able to see?

            We don’t look through tenant garbage but people don’t care and just dump their stuff all over the street.

            Then DOS has to make sure that it is not garbage that they need to remove and we have a mess of personal information ALL OVER MOTT STREET.

          • JEng

            Don Lee’s family owns a unit at The Sail in Hong Kong. I bet it doesn’t look like the condition of 5C the last time I was in there.

            NYC press is very weird and protects tenants from press exposes that are common in other cities as well as other countries.

            http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education-community/article/1983850/so-dirty-orange-couch-turned-black-owner-seizes

          • JEng

            also I’ve copied data from Real deal where the landlord didn’t have a broker and the tenant with broker had no problem signing a lease so not having a broker sign has nothing to do with ostracizing our space.

            Also, we paid the tenant’s broker Alan Ng in full at the lease signing – a check for $15000.
            There was no agreement signed but we kept our promise to pay the broker’s fee but we don;t think that brokers demand that landlords demand an exclusive from every landlord before helping them rent.

          • JEng

            if you’re trying to find out if we can be evicted from 2b, forget it. We would rather lose the house than the building and it is not about money. We aren’t safe if we lose the building because of the connection to the murderers who are shameless and give 4B as the post prison address for their FBI handler who came to the building and said you are renting to your husband’s murderer and the FBI has never been friendly and worse been very hostile in the form of one strange Chinese FBI agent who gloated that there was a kidnapping planned and that we were in danger but offered no protection and then of course later without asking her any questions, they subpoena’ed my mother and my new coworker coincidentally was formerly of the Manhattan DA’s office was not sympathetic to our terror and sense of distrust at the FBI doing this again and used by father’s exact words that it would be illegal and unpatriotic to not respect the subpoena.

            What a joke. We must be part Japanese to be treated like crap all the time.

            “to send a message” _ to who? Other than me, who would even care? Oh great, this is what I get for unknowingly being part Japanese. Thanks. I’ll suffer until I disintegrate into pieces from all this manipulation and death by a thousand cuts – of course I agree that I deserve no less if I am part of the tribe that murdered and raped and stole their way across Asia.

          • JEng

            Where do you see that our tax bill is 100k? that is impossible it was 170k and now 190k?

            Why is pro publica not responding to the inaccuracy in your comments?

          • ben

            I linked the documents from the city. It’s a matter of public record.

          • JEng

            thats not true – you are mixing up two different values correct? so you are lying and CITY LIMITS will allow your misstatement to stand?

            What is the name of the valuation where you get 2 million and the one where you get 800k? Not the same, is it?

            That’s dishonest. And my mother has been making In Rem payments and suffering the too high interest on the overcharged balance.

            Why are you still refusing to acknowledge that our taxes have been 170k raised to 190k? So is city limits some pro tenant bastion that is the perfect place to ignore the fact that every year, the city charged us more than we collected before paying other expenses?

            THAT’S the impossibility of paying these taxes – we never made that much so how could we pay that much?

            And you STILL won’t address the fact that we were charged 170k and it went up to 190k.

          • ben

            I don’t know what values you think I am mixing up. Here are the documents with the clear language listing the building’s taxable valuation:

            http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/statements/asr/jsp/stmtassessasr.jsp?statementId=229515416
            SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENTS, YOUR 2015/16 TAXES WILL BE BASED ON 1,121,400

            http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/statements/asr/jsp/stmtassessasr.jsp?statementId=215096247
            SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENTS, YOUR 2014/15 TAXES WILL BE BASED ON 1,162,170

            http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/statements/asr/jsp/stmtassessasr.jsp?statementId=200630100
            SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENTS, YOUR 2013/14 TAXES WILL BE BASED ON 1,068,480

            http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/statements/asr/jsp/stmtassessasr.jsp?statementId=181497041
            SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENTS, YOUR 2012/13 TAXES WILL BE BASED ON 1,049,220

            http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/statements/asr/jsp/stmtassessasr.jsp?statementId=167089923
            SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENTS, YOUR 2011/12 TAXES WILL BE BASED ON 1,042,110

          • JEng

            aren’t you cherry picking based on higher figures – 116 is a huge building and a corner just like 119 and 121

            why dont you post pictures of the buildings

            and why are STILL avoiding the fact that they charged us 170k and then raised it to 190k whcih is more than total rents collected in our building.

          • ben

            No I just picked the 5 adjacent addresses. I literally just went to the buildings that were next on mott street.

            I don’t see any evidence that you were charged $190k. And if you’re allowing tenants to illegally stay in their apartments after being nuisances and owning property, whose fault is that exactly? And you keep your commercial space on the first floor vacant despite the fact that you would need nothing more than $16k/month to cover that $190k tax bill (assuming it’s accurate which again I don’t see any evidence of).

          • JEng

            So you are ignoring the fact and refuse to discuss the fact that we are overcharged on our taxes. What were our taxes for the last four years?

            You sound a lot like caroline orlowski from Leticia James office. Any relation?

            we don’t keep our space vacant, we have been getting decades of fake expressions of interest to let us know it is intentional to SEND A MESSAGE. My mother shows the store and the rent stays below market and no one rents.

            My mother sent out two leases that were ignored after they got her hopes up and then when she finally gets a tenant, they tell her that there is something wrong with the C of O and hours later John Lam asks my mother to sell him her building. Then the tenant moves back in coincidentally after my mother tells Dean Fong she can’t take out a bridge loan to cover her while she gets a commercial loan (exposing her to loan to own) to pay those awful real estate taxes without an established commercial tenant.

            Then for one year they don’t renovate they don’t rush but my mother is outraged that her C of O amendment was not signed off and against her attorney’s advice of LET THEM DO IT (which is illegal we learn later from GOOGLE not from lawyers), my mother pushes to expedite the amendment then she has roadblocks thrown at her all summer but shes self expedites with the HUGE help of Mr. Rosen at DOB and gets yet another set of full floor commercial plans approved – the pharmacy insists on column removal which would risk a building collapse and claim that is the reason they can’t move forward and then sue because the C of O is wrong and design it so the venue is Nassau County Supreme Court possibly so the judge can claim unfamiliarity with Manhattan DOB.

          • ben

            here’s your tax bills going back to 2007:

            http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/1419/117-Mott-St-New-York-NY-10013/

            nowhere near 190k.

            Whether or not you are overcharged is an opinion, no? 🙂 Everyone thinks their taxes are too high lol

          • JEng

            no that is not right;
            POST THE NUMBERS so they attach to your user name so that you can show what you mean by NOWHERE NEAR.

          • ben

            anyone can simply click the link. there’s no reason for me to copy and paste the values as well. Calm down

          • JEng

            Yeah because you’ve been dishonest all along and can’t admit that you cherrypicked lower numbers at fully occupied bigger building and super profitable 111 mott who his hooked up with brokers and buys up buildings while other Chinatown landlords have to sell.

            I know.

            I Understand.

            This is about character smearing ME but not with the facts, with INNUENDO.

          • JEng

            at least let’s discuss Streeteasy listings for 111 mott street.

          • JEng

            Tax year 2015/2016
            Current tax bill $144,469.96
            Projected tax bill $106,149.48
            Current assessed value $1,121,400
            Current value $2,492,000

            More about New York City Property Taxes
            Assessment History

            Year Use code Market value Assessed value Taxable Tax rate% Base tax Current property tax
            2013/14 C7 $2,494,000 $1,122,300 $1,068,480 13.145% $140,451 $152,767
            2012/13 C7 $2,489,000 $1,120,050 $1,049,220 13.181% $138,297 $138,297
            2011/12 C7 $2,739,000 $1,232,550 $1,042,110 13.433% $139,986 $139,986
            2010/11 C7 $2,560,000 $1,152,000 $860,760 13.353% $114,937 $114,937
            2009/10 C7 $1,590,000 $715,500 $692,910 13.241% $91,748 $91,748
            2008/09 C7 $2,280,000 $1,026,000 $617,040 12.596% $77,722 $77,722
            2007/08 C7 $2,410,000 $1,084,500 $472,680 11.928% $56,381 $56,381

          • ben

            $152k a year is not $190 or even $170. In order to cover $152k a year you would need to make $12,666/mo. You could make that purely on the commercial space. You could make that purely on the two huge apartments you have on the sixth floor.

          • JEng

            if the city wants to tax us on a space we are having trouble renting, they should rent it from us and then tax us on the rent. We have OFFERED This space to the city, to Wellington Chen’s BID, etc.

            they can make as many sleazy phone calls pretending to be interested in renting the space for massage parlors etc but at the end of the day they or their broker will not get back to you – so they either want to build up your aggravation and not return calls to people with strange proposals so they can PROVE that you aren’t trying to rent out the store or they just run you around trying to show the store to them but at the end of the day – you still got murdered, you got arsoned on the murder victim’s birthday, dana blake is murdered on his son’s birthday and your store remains unrented except for 2013 when they contacted you on the anniversary of the murder, sign a lease, give back the keys, take back the keys, demand column removal and then eventually open at the location where the previous tenant tells his crony’s Sing Tao newspaper that the he had decided to close 10 months earlier on March 20, 2013 and that newspaper article is published two days before the tenant sues and demands all the rent back so not a real tenant at all.

          • JEng

            I don’t think these figures are even the right numbers. But they are still higher than our collected rents before expenses. THe city government has NO RIGHT to overcharge us and make it difficult if not impossible for us to get resolution. We had the same problem at 102-104 forcing a sale even though they did certiorari and other landlords have also said that certiorari got them nowhere – I think certiorari gets you nowhere if you are a Chinese Country Bumpkin building owner.

          • JEng

            you picked buildings of different sizes and three and then four corner buildings: 119, 121 116 and then 110 Mott.
            The nearest comparable building 111 Mott Street, you avoided.

          • JEng

            because you answered on Pro Publica first which was on google news’ front page and then responded to my month old post here.

        • JEng

          We either didn’t raise the rent or lowered the rent from the BEFORE the arson on market and regulated rents to keep tenants. We did it again after the fire. And we had no idea that there was this agenda to smear EVERY tenement owner.

          I taped everything especially Benjamin Seides and Philippe Lanier and we didn’t do anything wrong to deserve rich kids cancelling 20k in rent money orders and leaving a paint splattered apartment and not returning all the keys.

          We didn’t deserve anyone trying to hit my mother in the forehead or my actually being hit.

        • JEng

          We haven’t had a real commercial tenant since the 1998 arson on my murdered father’s birthday and Leticia James’ office LAUGHED when I asked for help. They gave me the runaround.

          We got a FAKE tenant in 2013 who refused to renovate and is now suing to get the year of rent back when they maintained sole possession for the entire year and even days away from returning the keys. told Eastern Consolidated’s broker to get out because they had sole authority over the space.

          Don’t tell me we aren’t being overcharged. LOOK at everybody else in Little Italy and Chinatown – there are people paying in the low tens of thousands if even that and we are in the SIX FIGURES.

        • JEng

          I can’t even look at this but you are an incredible liar:

          This city government is so sick and evil – even if we sold our starter home in College Point, we wouldn’t be able to pay this _ we NEVER owed this in the first place – we were overcharged and Leticia James sends us this email blast showing off about how she protects homeowners from foreclosure after her office gave us the runaround and laughed.

          $800,557.70
          If you pay everything you owe by July 1, 2016, you would save $530.75
          95030091606030100140001YNNP
          Property Tax Bill
          Quarterly Statement
          Activity through June 03, 2016
          S

          • ben

            yes those are back-taxes. you havent paid in years. anyone can just read the bill – I linked it below. All the prior bills are there too:

            http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/nynav/jsp/stmtassesslst.jsp

            I searched through bills going back to 2010 and couldn’t find a single one where you paid those taxes.

          • JEng

            That’s not true because my mother has made In Rem payments.

            ALSO why are you not answering the question that indeed they hiked our taxes from the already unaffordable $170k to $190k last year?

            And it’s uncommon for Pro Publica which is definitely sponsored content to support these comments – they block my comments ALL the time.

            So it may be that this is to support the deniability created by the city refusing to lower us so that we are affordable but lowering taxes to TWO THIRDS of the collected rents when expenses are more than ONE THIRD indicating a cold vicious and malicious (sorry to rhyme it) tactical reduction that actually intentionally fails to address the injustice of the overcharge

            it is simply LESS of an overcharge while the poison still has the intended effect – unsurvivability.