Embattled congressman-elect George Santos left his Queens apartment with massive damage before moving on with his campaign trail, his former landlord has said.
Mr Santos and his sister Tiffany Lee Devolder Santos lived in the apartment in Whitestone until three months ago, the New York Post reported. The landlord of the two-bedroom 960-sq-ft apartment said that the siblings never paid rent late, but did cause damage.
“They had four dogs and they did a lot of damage to the place, so they left,” Nancy Pothos told the Post.
The outlet also reported that the modest residence, bought in 1999 for $200,000, is estimated to be worth $2,900 a month.
The Post’s report was followed shortly after by a report from New York outlet Gothamist, which reported that Mr Santos claimed that he was mugged on his way to deliver a rent cheque to Queens Housing Court on 15 January 2016 in an effort to resolve a separate apartment issue.
The New York City Police Department has no record of any such attack. A spokesperson for NYPD told the outlet there was nothing on file related to Mr Santos’s claims.
The Republican wrote that he was “unable to provide a police report” and was told to return to police several days later to pick one up, according to an affidavit that was filled out under oath.
At the time, Mr Santos was set to pay $2,250 in back rent to landlord Maria Tulumba.
According to court records reviewed by Gothamist, Mr Santos signed a one-year lease that ended in September 2015, but he remained at the property in November of that year and owed the landlord $2,250. The landlord initiated eviction proceedings that month. Mr Santos agreed to leave that apartment on 24 December 2015 and pay any due rental payments, though it is unclear whether he ever made the payment.
The New York Times also reported that Mr Santos faced two other eviction cases in 2014 and in 2017.
The report follows a long list of recently revealed fabrications and outright lies across both his professional resume and life experiences, including false claims about his education, career, real estate portfolio and his mother’s death.
In November, New York voters elected Mr Santos to represent the state’s 3rd congressional district, which spans parts of Long Island and Queens.
He has resisted calls to resign despite admitting to “embellishing” his resume and is set to formally take office in January.
Five years after he claimed in court that he was robbed of his cheque, Mr Santos tweeted in defence of “#landlordrights”. This week, Mr Santos admitted to The New York Post that he does not own any properties. He currently lives with his sister.
“Will we landlords ever be able to take back possession of our property?” he wrote in February 2021. “My family and I [sic] nearing a 1 year anniversary of not receiving rent on 13 properties!!! The state is collecting their tax, yet we get 0 help from the government. We worked hard to acquire these assets … Now it almost feels like we are being punished. I hope that the [sic] my senate can see how much harm they are causing us.”
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