The Real Deal’s “The Wolf of Airbnb” is the hero NYC needs and deserves.
[New York, NY, 10th/February/2022] – The Real Deal wrote an article titled “The Wolf of Airbnb” Terrorizing Landlords”, about one tenant, Konrad Bicher, for his battles against landlords in the city. The article was loaded with one-sided accusations against a tenant courageous enough to battle back against those who many would rightfully consider “slumlords” that control the fabric of NYC’s housing.
New York City is a city of tenants, many of which fall prey to the abuse of landlords. Absentee landlords that mistreat their buildings through various doses of neglect plague the city. The tenants of all classes remain subject to these negligent landlords that enjoy a sumptuous quality of life largely subsidized by the tenants they fail to properly accommodate.
In Kriston Capps’ words, which he wrote in his Bloomberg CityLab article “New York Is A City of Renters at Every Stage of Life,”“Gotham renters are paying the way for owners, and renters are not exactly living the dream.”
The Real Deal, duteously catering to its audience of property owners who only see their tenants as a means to an end, described Konrad as villain because he is battling the landlords of New York (and winning). In a city of neglected tenants without awareness, energy, or the spirit to stand up against the Goliath of a New York City landlord, Konrad is bravely fighting the battle against the corruption plaguing the city.
The viciousness of the landlords in New York was immediately clear as Konrad displayed photos of some of his apartments together with many screenshots of the texts, he received from the absentee owners of the buildings within which his apartments unfortunately reside. The evidence he illuminated served as a disturbing display of New York City “slumlords” and how they operate.
He has been victimized in the past by the landlords. Illegal break-ins by his landlord or the landlord’s property manager; illegal lockouts; routine code violations throughout the buildings and the apartments; renting to tenants such as Konrad without a Certificate of Occupancy; texts sent to Konrad from landlords requesting that he stage apartments to hide violations such as an illegally added bathroom and bedroom; threats and harassment directed at not only Konrad, but to his close peers as well; flooded rooms that develop rat infestation problems; turning off his gas and hot water until Konrad paid rent; turning off his power; throwing his furniture out of the apartment after changing the locks; installing cameras outside Konrad’s apartment doors. The list grows more and more daunting with further investigation. After experiencing the dishonorable acts Konrad encountered just to live in New York City, the powerlessness of him and his fellow renters ignited him into defensive action. He became the wolf that protects himself and those around him that are routinely losing the immoral battles initiated by the landlords who own the city. The battles fought and won by Konrad against multiple landlords in New York hold an appeal that should resonate with most tenants in the city.
The integrity by which New York City landlords fail to conduct their duty to tenants is frightening given their power over such a large share of the city’s population. The corrupt impropriety of these landlords is strengthened by the scarcity of individuals that stand valiantly in opposition to their goals.
The Real Deal’s article on Konrad unintentionally expressed how submissive the city is to landlords that many, especially those reading the Real Deal, treat as omnipotent and omniscient. These landlords celebrated The Real Deal’s article laced with ignorance in its depiction of a tenant as a criminal when truly he is one of the few individuals carrying the courage and willingness to fight back against the corruption pervading New York landlords. Konrad stands out as an easy victim given his loneliness in a daunting battle against the predators preying over the majority of New Yorkers. His side of the story—the side that represents the defenseless renters in the city—must be shared. Konrad diligently organized all evidence of any landlord he witnessed blatantly and aggressively breaking laws in their battle against him, none of which was shared with The Real Deal, who claimed he is the one doing the terrorizing? But the forum is now open.
This lonely battle is being fought with high hopes for the city’s officials to emerge and minimize the power that the collection of slumlords holds and abuse as they force hazardous environments upon the city’s population.