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The trolls have arrived.

27 Jul

Hi, Urban American! It seems you’ve found our site. Welcome. Pull up a seat.

What is a troll? In e-slang, “trolls” post inflammatory, offensive, rude, or inappropriate comments to message boards or forums.

Today, I checked this site to find that there were multiple similar comments left by “Portra Nostrand”, using the email address myusername@yahoo.com. Though the comments were exactly the same (which is why I’ve only approved one, for spam’s sake), they were all linked to different IP addresses. (What is an IP address? Whatismyip.com explains.) Oddly, though the comments were posted within minutes of each other, one of “Portra’s” IP addresses was based in Bedminster, NJ – the other was coming from San Jose, CA.

Urban American owns properties, and is based out of, New Jersey, but has nothing to do with San Jose, CA. I’m guessing that they’ve found this site and are “trolling” it, and they’re trying to hide their tracks. Nice try. They’re notorious for tenant harassment (for example, stealing mail, threatening phone calls, etc.) so this is no surprise. Too bad they were outwitted.

My reply to the troll comment will be in the next post, entitled “These Are Real Problems”.

Your help is appreciated!

7 Jul
How to Become a Landlord - From ToothpasteForDinner.com

Appropriate comic from Toothpaste for Dinner, click to enlarge.

We’re up to nearly 1,200 page views!

Now that the site has started to gain traction in Google results, I’ve been getting some interesting emails – for example, an employee from State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.’s office wanted to discuss the conditions Urban American buildings in the Bronx. I wonder which other local politicians may be interested in getting involved in the fight against predatory equity? Will NYC’s “worst landlord” watchlist be updated to truly hold Urban American accountable for all of its buildings and violations?

In the meantime, if you have any stories to share about Urban American, please feel free to email them to nyctenantadvocate@yahoo.com, or leave them as comments on this site’s various posts and pages. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway, and I promise to keep you fully anonymous. Write however you please, and say whatever you want. The more real-life accounts of how Urban American treats its tenants, the better! News articles and any other bits of information are also appreciated, of course.

May Update: Don’t think I’ve forgotten!

23 May

Is Urban American really too big to be held accountable?

As of May 23rd, 2011, this site has had 695 total views. Not bad, but I’m waiting for the moment when the number of visitors to this site is greater than the number of housing violations that Urban American is guilty of. In the past month, I unfortunately have not been able to track down any new buildings in Urban American’s name, so the total number of violations has remained static. However, I’m keeping tabs on Urban American with the help of Google Alerts, which will let me know whenever new information appears in Google’s search results related to their dealings. I’m not letting them get anything past me.

I find it frustrating that this site hasn’t been given any attention by the news media, not only because Urban American deserves the negative publicity, but because coverage by a news organization may lead to an official investigation. Today, a housing inspector from HPD (the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development) dropped by unexpectedly to check out my unit’s violations, and I asked him why I haven’t seen any action taken against Urban American by HPD or the Office of the Public Advocate. The inspector claimed that “the problem is that Urban American is a corporation, not a private landlord, and therefore they cannot be held accountable.”

I beg to differ, especially considering how in the eyes of the Supreme Court, corporations have the same rights as individuals. Google “corporate personhood”, it’s a sad truth. Thus, while it may be difficult for HPD to go up against Urban American and the out-of-state investment bankers which fund it, this argument holds no water. For the record, the housing inspector was a very friendly guy, and I do not intend to be disrespectful of him in any way.

On the contrary, Urban American continues to be incredibly disrespectful to its tenants. It’s about time someone called out Josh Eisenberg and his cohorts on their tenant harassment and habit of keeping their units in disgusting conditions. Later this week, I’m going to pay a direct visit to the Office of the Public Advocate and see if there’s anything that can be done. I’d also like to begin writing to the politicians who serve the areas with the greatest number of Urban American buildings, and to create a map of these buildings as opposed to the running list. Hopefully, these actions may help myself and other Urban American tenants achieve justice once and for all.

Ready to Debut

25 Apr

I’ve given this site about two weeks to get picked up on Google, and to double-check my findings and sources and see if I come across anything else worth adding.

At this point, I feel ready to start promoting this site to various NYC news blogs and so on. Let’s get the word out and help protect prospective tenants! Wish me luck.

Welcome

4 Apr

This blog will serve to compile information on Urban American Management, a New Jersey based New York City management company.

As your anonymous author, I want to compile all of my research on this company in one place so that prospective tenants of Urban American Management’s buildings can be informed. More information on my mission can be found on the “About” link.

You may contact me at nyctenantadvocate@yahoo.com if you have questions or comments.