Letter: Report cited in recent ‘predatory landlords’ article is full of fabrications, outdated data

Fordham tenants clash with landlord over awful conditions
A property in the Fordham section of the Bronx, located at 2454 Tiebout Ave., owned by Queens-based landlord Ved Parkash.
Photo Alex Mitchell

To the Editor,

In the recent article “Predatory landlords, rent speculation driving up evictions, poor conditions for NYC Black and brown households: report”, the report by a North Bronx housing researcher fails to include a single instance of Parkash Management “flipping” a building in its portfolio for a profit. That’s because this assertion is simply untrue. Furthermore, reference to 7.5 violations per unit at Parkash buildings is pure fabrication. That has never been the case with any buildings in the Parkash portfolio.

The report is based on outdated information. It fails to state two present-day facts: The number of building violations is substantially less than when the buildings were purchased, and that many of the violations were cured but not removed from building department records.

Regarding evictions, an eviction proceeding is sometimes the sole legal recourse of not only Parkash Management, but every other building owner. It is often the only way to recover rent from a non-paying tenant after all other options have been exhausted. Evictions and empty apartments are not the Parkash business model. Eviction proceedings are a way to keep a tenant in their apartment because housing court is the arena where tenant-owner disputes are settled and where tenants are connected to government-funded, rent-assistance programs.

Failure to pay rent harms not only building owners, but also every responsible, rent-paying tenant since the rent stream is the sole source of revenue to pay oil bills (for heat and hot water), building maintenance and repairs, wages for superintendents and other personnel, mortgages and insurance, city property taxes and water bills, and all other operating expenses.

The Parkash Management portfolio consists primarily of pre-war construction that requires repairs and attention on a daily basis. Breakdowns are frequent in older structures, and upgrades to the major systems (electrical, plumbing, etc.) of these aging buildings are constant. Across its entire portfolio, Parkash Management has remained deeply committed to reinvesting the rent revenue into its buildings, and to providing decent affordable housing to Bronx residents, an obligation and responsibility that this company and its owners take seriously, and one that has taken on even greater enormity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ved Parkash,

President, Parkash Management

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