Uproar at Queens condo: Residents say their property manager is a bully
Imagine living in an apartment building where there are images of Hitler and Mussolini in the lobby, and you are fined $100 for having a visitor overnight. NY1's Clodagh McGowan has this exclusive story about the strange goings-on at a Queens condominium, where some residents say they are being bullied by an overbearing property manager.
Twin Uncle Sams stand outside a condominium on 39th Place in Sunnyside.
The lobby decor is even more unusual. Pictures of Hitler, a Swastika and Mussolini; NRA stickers; tributes to President Trump and Martin Luther King; patriotic and political messages.
"Just completely radical, national nonsense," said condo owner Greg Hunt. "And my concern is, when a potential buyer for my apartment walks in, they're going to walk right out."
Hunt is one of 14 tenants and condo owners who spoke to NY1.
They say the decorations are the work of Neal Milano, who heads the condo board and is listed as property manager.
They accuse him of imposing near dictatorial control, threatening and badgering tenants, and imposing absurd fees like $200 for not folding cardboard properly for recycling.
"People are in terror over there. They don't have the money he's asking for," said condo owner Lynn Calvacca.
Calvacca owns two apartments here. She was one of the few people willing to talk on camera. Others declined, saying they feared retaliation.
Tenants say Milano regularly posts notices like one that identifies a tenant as having "a male visitor who is Asian" and "a six-foot-four Middle Eastern person of interest...sleep over more than 20 times."
It complains of "moaning, groaning, screaming of passion and thumping" coming from her apartment, and declares that tenants must get written permission and pay a $100 fee, for overnight visitors.
Calvacca says Milano took one of her tenants to court in a dispute over Christmas Tree pine needles.
"He called him a vile, despicable, animalistic person, and he put that in a flier," she said.
Calvacca says she has filed a lawsuit against Miliano over another fee dispute.
NY1 was unable to reach Milano by phone or at his apartment. Messages left on the condo board's answering machine were not returned.
An attorney representing Milano in disputes with tenants and owners told us in response, "The board in the spirit of patriotism has approved various murals, that appear in the public area of the condominium. There are regular elections for membership on the board and any person who wishes membership on the board to impact its decision making can run for election."
Calvacca says she is not aware of anyone else on the condo board. She says she ran for a seat a few years ago but lost.
"I heard that he tried to intimidate the tenants and they voted for him," she said.
But it appears someone is firing back. The neighborhood has been papered with these bogus NYPD fliers accusing Milano of being a sex offender. The NYPD tell us they did not issue the fliers and that Milano is not an offender.
His lawyer vows to sue the "coward" responsible, if that person can be identified.
The NYPD does confirm that someone filed a stalking complaint against Milano last month. The investigation is ongoing.
"The people in there are losing the sanctity of their home," Calvacca said. "Feeling safe, secure, happy, it's not like that in that building. It really is a horror."
A horror she hopes will soon come to an end.