Meet The Spy Tech Companies Helping Landlords Evict People

"You CAN raise rents in NYC!" reads the headline of one promotional email sent to landlords.

"3 Simple Steps to Re-Regulate a Unit." First, use one of Teman's automated products to catch a tenant breaking a law or violating their lease, such as by having unapproved subletters or loud parties. Then, "vacate" them and merge their former apartment with one next door or above or below, creating a "new" unit that's not eligible for rent protections. "Combine a $950/mo studio and $1400/mo one-bedroom into a $4200/mo DEREGULATED two-bedroom," the email enticed.

Teman's surveillance systems can even "help you identify which units are most-likely open to moving out (or being evicted!)." [...]

Any camera system can document possibly eviction-worthy behavior, but McElroy identified two companies, Teman and Reliant Safety, that use the biometrics of tenants with the explicit goal of facilitating evictions. [...]

In his appeals to landlords, Teman has broadened the scope of tenants targetable through his products. In a 2018 LinkedIn post, the possibly eviction-worthy activities detected included "subletting," "living elsewhere most of the year," "hav[ing] too many occupants" and "hosting parties or businesses."

He has explicitly suggested surveilling rent-stabilized apartments. "We have EVICTED OVER 600 STABILIZED TENANTS in the last 2 years," the same post stated.

He also claims facial recognition can prevent inheritance claims, in which some rent protections are passed to family members who lived with a tenant. "That old lady might be gone in a few years," Teman wrote, "but if you cannot prove her grandkid didn't live with her, he'll get the apartment and its $600 rent!"

Wait, what:

In 2020, Teman was convicted of bank fraud for allegedly taking illegal withdrawals from clients, a conviction for which Teman's supporters in comedy and rabbinical circles appealed for a pardon from then-president Donald Trump.

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One Response:

  1. K says:

    Unrelated: When I see clickbait headlines that mention 'passive income' I've started automatically mentally substituting the word 'theft'.

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