Binghamton tenants claim unfair evictions, but landlord says allegations are false

(Shabeli Acevedo)
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 2:44 PM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Finding a rental property in Binghamton is no easy task. Most properties available for rent are student housing, making it quite a challenge for others to find a rental.

Local property manager, Thomas De’Angelo has evicted tenants for not getting along. Connie Smolack, a current tenant, and a former tenant named Andrea who did not wish to share her last name with 12 News verified this information. De’Angelo owns Empire Property Management in Binghamton and has been in the business for more than 15 years.

De’Angelo manages many properties in the area. One of which is a property located at 139 Beethoven St. Andrea, and her husband Joseph; who had the lease under his name, are former tenants of De’Angelo and said they encountered multiple issues during their time living at the property.

In November 2022, the couple moved out of the property due, what they said, was a toxic relationship they had with the landlord. Andrea said a big issue they had was how there was only hot water in the bathroom which made it difficult for their 4-year-old daughter to wash her hands without burning herself.

The couple was withholding rent for the last month due to maintenance issues that they allege have not been fixed. They told the landlord they would be moving out by the end of November and told De’Angelo to keep the security deposit. Andrea said they received a 14-day notice taped to their door signed by De’Angelo but nothing signed legally.

On Jan. 26, De’Angelo said these allegations were false. He elected to not be interviewed by 12 News. But later, on Jan. 27, De’Angelo’s lawyer, Rachel Miller, shared with 12 News multiple tenants’ eviction notices including Andrea and Joseph’s.

Three other tenants from the property located on Beethoven Street are getting evicted and have gotten legal evictions for allegedly not getting along, that’s according to Smolack. Smolack, who has lived in the property since January 2020, said she has never paid her rent late, has never violated her lease and said takes care of her apartment herself.

Smolack said she’s never had any issues at the property until this year when two of the upstairs neighbors had been getting into, what she alleges, are constant screaming fights.

Smolack said she began to feel unsafe living at the property. Smolack said she contacted Empire Property Management to notify them of the situation which led to an email from De’Angelo on Jan. 11, 2023, notifying Smolack she would be receiving a 90-day eviction notice.

12 News reached out to Code Enforcement for comment and did not hear back.

Another tenant, who asked not be named, told 12 News they have no issues with De’Angelo as their landlord. That tenant said they are pleased with how Empire Property Management operates.