The Naughtiest and Nicest Landlords of 2015

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Do you think your landlord should be getting coal in their stocking? Or do they deserve some baked goods and a quality bottle of scotch? Lest you think your landlord is the best or the worst in the world, check out our list of 5 landlords who went to extremes to secure their places on Santa's list, be they naughty or nice.

The Naughty:

Landlord: Davin Gartley, Mt. Lebanon, PA
Crime: Failing to pay fines on numerous outstanding health and housing code violations at his rental properties. Running a drug and prostitution operation out of one of his Pittsburgh rental properties. Learn More.
Status: Briefly jailed. Fined $14400 for the multiple violations. Prostitution case is ongoing with the next hearing scheduled for February.

Landlord: David Weiss/Life on Queen Inc./Westwood Holdings, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Crime: Harassing and threatening a tenant who opposed their attempt to open an unlicensed laundromat in her building. Actions include attempting to terminate the plaintiff's lease early, threatening to repeatedly file eviction to cause "headaches and inconveniences," and naming the laundromat after her. Learn More.
Status: Fined $3000.

Landlord: George Nazar, Turlock, CA
Crime: Setting his rented property on fire as part of a dispute with his tenants. Learn more.
Status: 3 charges of attempted murder were dropped, but he pled no contest to Arson of an inhabited structure. Mr. Nazar must serve five years probation, register as an arson offender, comply with mental health counseling, and pay an undisclosed sum of at least $10k in restitution to the victims.

Landlord: Arthur Holmer, Chicago, IL
Crime: Lying about rent rates at his properties in order to obtain a $6.5 million loan to purchase more buildings (among other issues). Learn more.
Status: Pled guilty to Felony Mortgage Fraud. Released on bond. Sentencing scheduled for March 2016.

Landlord: Thomas Szczesniak, Cheektowaga, NY
Crime: Killing his tenant with a close range gunshot in their shared driveway after spending the day drinking together. Learn More.
Status: Convicted of 2nd degree manslaughter. Sentenced to 15 years in prison.


The Nice:

Landlord: Jinesh Varia, Bothell, WA
Good deed: Offering a $200/mo discount on rent to vegetarian and vegan tenants. Learn More.
Status: As of this time, the property is still for rent.

Landlord: Chris Foxall, Dudley, West Midlands, UK
Good Deed: After posting on Facebook that he wished to offer one of his apartments to a homeless vet with no rent for the first 3 months and no deposit, Foxall's post was shared over 45000 times and seen by over 14 million people. Learn more.
Status: Foxall found his renter - a former Grenadier Guardsman who had been homeless for 3 months - within a week of his posting with the help of local placement charities. Hundreds offered to help furnish the space at no cost.

Landlord: Macerich REIT, Marysville, CA
Good Deed: Allowing Habitat for Humanity to purchase the commercial facility they had been renting for 1/3 of its actual value, saving the charity $2.6 million. Commercial landlord Macerich, which owns several shopping malls and commercial plazas nationwide, also contributed a portion of Habitat's down payment. Learn More.
Status: The property has been named "Macerich Plaza." Habitat uses it as their base of operations in the immediate area, with a "ReStore" thrift shop, YouthBuild program and their business offices inside. With a permanent "home" of their own and the massive purchase price discount, Habitat of Yuba/Sutter has been able to expand their services and provide real permanent homes to many more people in need.

Landlord: Participants in Zillow's "Community Pillar" program, Nationwide
Good deed: Agreeing to relax screening criteria so that renters with weak applications can still find housing. Learn More.
Status: The project started in July and is ongoing at this time. Currently 36 Property Managers have stepped up as "Community Pillars" in Chicago, with many more nationwide.

Landlord: Rafael Trevino, Edinburg, TX
Good Deed: Allowing a homeless single mother to live rent free in exchange for agreeing to finish school. Learn More.
Status: Trevino was awarded $400 as part of a local news "pay it forward" good deeds recognition program.

Do you know of a landlord who's gone above and beyond or scraped the bottom of the barrel in the past year? Let us know in the comments, and don't forget to hit those share buttons!

Published by

Kay Cleaves