Documents: Inside Anwar Faisal's real estate empire
The Boston Globe's Spotlight Team investigated housing owned by Anwar Faisal, who rents more units to students than most, if not all, landlords in Boston. Few if any landlords have a longer rap sheet of offenses against state sanitary and building codes, and no one better exemplifies the city’s ineffectiveness at policing chronic offenders. Here are documents related to Part 3 the investigation: Boston, NU agree to phase out leases | BRA planner countersues Faisal | Tenant's letter to Faisal | Judge orders tenant be reimbursed | Faisal property condemned in 2012 | Another Faisal property condemned in 2013
July 19, 2004
In 2004, Northeastern University and the city of Boston signed an agreement in which the school promised to try to phase out, within five years, the leases it had in private buildings where it has housed students since the early 1980s because of a shortage of dormitories. But the university hasn’t come close to fulfilling its pledge and still rents apartments for 600 students, more than half of whom live in buildings owned by Anwar Faisal.
July 23, 2007
Gerald Autler, a senior planner for the Boston Redevelopment Agency, knows all too well what Anwar Faisal is like as a landlord. In 2007, Faisal took Autler and his then-fiancee to housing court, claiming they owed $2,625 in rent after the couple broke their South End lease. The couple filed a countersuit accusing Faisal of providing an apartment infested with mice, mishandling their security deposit, and other deficiencies. These allegations come up repeatedly in complaints against Faisal by young tenants. Both suits were later dropped.
Feb. 14, 2012
Kelsey Hallman, a young paralegal living at 1412 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston, wrote Anwar Faisal’s real estate company Alpha Management in February 2012 to break her lease. She and a roommate fled an apartment overrun with bedbugs and infested with mice. Hallman sued Faisal in Boston Housing. Her roommate wasn’t party to the suit, and her name was redacted from the letter, which was in a court file.
May 15, 2012
Camilla B. Duffy, an assistant clerk magistrate at the Boston Housing Court, issued a stinging decision three months later and ordered Anwar Faisal to reimburse his former tenant nearly $2,500. Faisal threatened to appeal, Kelsey Hallman said, prompting his former tenant to accept $2,000 from him just to end the matter.
The city condemned a basement apartment that Anwar Faisal had leased directly to a Northeastern University student, Tim Granger, at 115 St. Stephen St., steps from the campus. Granger’s father, a Connecticut general contractor, recognized that the $1,200-a-month, roach-infested unit flouted the state’s sanitary code and was a firetrap. As it turned out, the city said, Faisal didn’t even have a certificate of occupancy for the apartment.
The city condemned another basement apartment that Anwar Faisal had leased to three Berklee College of Music students next door at 109 St. Stephen St. Inspectors deemed it a fire trap and later discovered something else, they said. The city had authorized Faisal to have only 25 apartments in the building, not 26, making this apartment illegal.