Troubles with apartments in Kansas City owned by T.E.H. Realty, a company based in Pennsylvania, isn’t just limited to their local properties. Problems with the company’s affordable-housing apartment complexes are many and spread from Kansas City to St. Louis, and possibly beyond.

With mold, falling ceilings and floors, water shut-offs, and lack of other repairs among residents’ complaints, T.E.H. Realty is also one of Kansas City’s largest evictors, says the KC Tenants resident rights group. In November in St. Louis, residents went on a payment strike and angry employees confronted T.E.H. managers over non-payment of wages, while garbage piled up in apartment parking lots due to unpaid trash bills, KMBC 9 of St. Louis reported.

Crestwood Apartments, KCK

On Dec. 13, Fannie Mae, a federal government-sponsored enterprise that secures loans, was granted an emergency order to help protect their collateral interest in Crestwood Apartments, located at 57th and Parallel in Kansas City, KS. Convinced by Fannie Mae attorneys that existing conditions at the 124-unit property created a safety and health hazard, a district court judge appointed a receiver to step in and manage the property, for which T.E.H. Realty owes Fannie Mae $2.5 million, Fox4KC reported.

In January 2019, T.E.H. had been notified they needed to make about $190,000 worth of safety-related repairs or be found in contempt. After failing to make the repairs, the firm went into default and Fannie Mae took action.

Beyond Crestwood, we found T.E.H. failing to make repairs and tenants forced to live in dismal conditions happening at several of the company’s properties.

Springwood Apartments, Bel Ridge

In early November, a St. Louis County District Judge foreclosed on T.E.H.-owned Springwood Apartments. Similar to Crestwood, after being cited more than 300 times for health and safety violations, and entire building being deemed uninhabitable due to rotting stairs, crumbling walkways, and bug infestations, Fannie Mae stepped in and took the company to court. A receiver was appointed to take over that 129 unit apartment complex.

Park Ridge Apartments, Ferguson

T.E.H. was only able to hold onto this property for little over a year before driving it into the ground. The company purchased the recently renovated 336-unit complex in April 2018 and it was foreclosed on in July 2019. In Oct. 2018, a building in the complex was condemned after a piece of cement fell off a 2nd floor walkway to the ground. By June 2019 the Housing Authority of St. Louis was refusing to allow new subsidized housing vouchers to be used at Park Ridge, or four other T.E. H. properties in St. Louis.

T.E. H. Ownership

According to their website, T.E.H. Realty, which was founded in Israel in 2006 by Eliram Rabin and Gilad Israeli, initially focused their property ownership around the student housing market in Tel Aviv, Israel. The firm went on to establish offices in Reading, PA; Kansas City; Tulsa, OK; Indianapolis, IN; and St. Louis and owning 3,400 apartment units. At one-point, T.E. H. may have owned as many as 12 apartment complexes in St. Louis, although each apartment complex tends to be owned by a separate limited liability company.

The “St. Louis Post Dispatch,” found an article in “Calcalist,” a financial newspaper in Israel, that reported “Tens of millions of dollars placed by the Israeli upper echelon at the hands of T.E.H. Realty for investments in U.S. real estate are at risk as employees aren’t paid and trash piles up around the properties.”

That same article identified some of T.E.H. investors as prominent people including the current mayor of Jerusalem, a former dean at Tel Aviv University, a former bank CEO and a former Israeli income tax and real estate tax commissioner.

Other Problems

Our identified list of other problems at T.E. H. properties includes:

Northwind Apartments, Ferguson Problems include multiple complaints about the lack of repairs. In July, a piece of wood fell from the ceiling in one apartment, landed on an elderly woman’s head and knocked her completely out.

Windham Chase Apartments, Spanish Lake Tenants complain about mold, mice and plumbing problems. In July 2019, an apartment’s ceiling collapsed on a grandmother while she was lying in bed.

Nob Hill Apartments, Kansas City, MO After receiving 56 complaints from tenants, the Kansas City Housing Authority decided to make an inspection visit. They inspected 81 or the complex’s 269 units and none of them passed, with 13 of the units found to have problems that could potentially create health or safety issues. As of Dec. 16, the Housing Authority of KCMO will suspend about $41,000 in taxpayer-subsidized housing contracts for Nob Hill, KMBC reported.

With so many problem units in St. Louis and Kansas City, it’s hard to imagine the company’s compounding problems haven’t expanded to include company-owned properties in other cities or that we shouldn’t expect even more problems with their units in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

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