22 April 2012

My time as Eric Galloway's Tenant - Part 2

Galloway Buys the Building

When I first moved in, the building was owned by a woman who lived in another borough. Then Eric Galloway and The Lighton Group, one of the many corporations he owns, bought it. That's when everything started going downhill.

Notices appeared on doors, people in the building were telling stories of being harassed, a number of people who had been subletting were told that one way or another, they would be evicted. Some tenants (probably due to immigration status) started leaving on their own, rather than get involved with the system.

Maintenance in the building faltered. Rats, mice, roaches and bedbugs all became a problem.  Mysterious leaks from vacant apartments became common. More tenants left. Once they left, he did not re-rent the units.

One day I had a knock on the door. It was Eric Galloway. I explained that I had nowhere else to go and that I intended to assert my rights in court. He then offered to "help me out". He offered to lease me an apartment on the top floor in my own name, it was a little larger than the unit I was in (about 125 sq. ft) and it had a small kitchenette for $400. I told him I'd think about it. But I also said that even if I were to take his offer, that I could not surrender the right to the apartment held by my friend who I was subletting from. He said that he didn't care about that.

In the meantime I was communicating with my friend in Greece about the clear drive by Galloway to empty the building and of his offer. He told me to take the new unit and he would figure out what to do when he returned to the States.

I signed the new lease on  Friday. After I did, his assistant asked when I could move upstairs. I told him that I was paid up through the month in the downstairs unit and it was only the first of the month, but that I planned on moving up everything in the next week or so.

That did not sit well with him. He said "You mean you can't move up this weekend"? To which I responded no, that I was going away for the weekend to see my mother. I left with my newly signed lease and thought nothing further about it.

Next - Where the F@%$ is my stuff?

Start at Part 1


  1. Did your friend's lease actually permit him to sublease to you? That would be very rare in an apartment lease in NYC.

    1. I am not sure where you are getting your information from... if my memory is not failing me from my law school days in the 80s and of NYC's RPL (real property law), which as I recall, statutorily provides that rent stabilized apartment leases must & always include and provide the tenant with a right to sublet. However, a tenant can only sublet for a period of time (i believe 2 years) and a landlord can reject the subtenant BUT only for reasonable and good cause. B Babitt

  2. I'm afraid of what is going to happen next.

  3. R. Rasner - The previous landlord had no problem with sublets, that is why there were so many people in the building subletting. But I assume that the lease was a standard lease and prohibited it.

    However, subtenants have rights as well. Anyone living in any apartment for 30 days is a tenant. To evict a subtenant a landlord must take the subtenant to court.

  4. A legitimate subtenant may enjoy rights, but if the lease specifically prohibits or requires the landlord's approval for sub-leasing, which almost all apartment leases do, the situation changes. In that situation, the balance of power certainly shifts to the landlord. Standard language in a New York lease states: " An assignment, sub-letting or license without the prior written consent of Landlord or an assignment or sub-letting by operation of law shall be absolutely null and void and shall, at Landlord's option, terminate this Agreement."

    I'm not sure where you are going with this, but to be fair, you should point out that in fact, you may have been an illegal tenant in the owner's building.

    There are two sides to every story, no matter who the players or the parts they play.
    Thanks for hearing my view.

  5. R. Rasner - In this post I have signed a new lease in my name (for Unit 25) with Mr. Galloway's company the Lighton Group. All of my stuff was in Unit 6 for which I had paid rent to the over tenant who had in turn paid the rent on Unit 6. Galloway did not have possession of Unit 6. Lots more details tomorrow.

  6. VM--whether you were or were not legal. So long as rent was paid and no court order authorized your landlord or his agent to evict you and your property--HE HAD NO LEGAL RIGHT TO ENTER THAT APARTMENT (unless it was for some emergency!