Is this the type of businessman we want representing us in City Hall?
Ori Feibush, owner of OCF Realty and the OCF Coffeehouse establishments, is running for city council from the Second District largely on his record as a businessman in the district; it’s a bit ironic for those of us who lived where he does business.
His campaign literature promises “real results” and the promise to “fix Philly.”
His biography says his background inspired him to “pursue work that would lift up others, not just himself.” And it claims that he has the “right experience to bring common sense solutions to City Hall.”
We agree with Mr. Feibush, that his business practice and conduct will indicate precisely the type of councilperson he will be. We welcome the opportunity to talk about what business practices could look like if they were accountable to the community.
We invite the rest of the 2nd District to join us in looking past the image and publicity that money can buy, and scrutinize Mr. Feibush’s actual business practice.
The fact is Ori Feibush has often been nothing more than a typical, greedy landlord. He has repeatedly and illegally withheld thousands of dollars worth of security deposits from his rental tenants, forcing them to go to court and get a judge to order him to repay their deposits.
Take a look for yourself:
Court Rules Ori Feibush Illegally Withheld Security Deposit
Liza Tanihara paid Mr. Feibush’s OCF Realty a security deposit of $3,100 and a pet deposit of $300 when she first signed a lease with him. According to her lawsuit against OCF Realty, when she vacated the property on June 28, 2013 she left it in good shape, but Ori refused to return the money she was owed. On top of that, Tanihara claimed that Ori was overcharging her for her monthly water bills, which added up to $275 worth of overpayments. He agreed to refund the money, but never did. Two months after she left the property, Ori still had not returned any of what she was owed. She was forced to file a lawsuit to collect. The court ruled that Ori was, indeed, illegally withholding her money and ordered him to pay her $2,625.
Court Rules Ori Feibush Illegally Withheld Funds . . . Again
Sometimes, even when people don’t decide to rent with Ori, he still keeps their money. Consider Kevin Minor. He was interested in renting property from Ori so on July 16, 2010, he put down $900 for the first month’s rent. When he asked to have a refrigerator and washer/dryer hook up included in the property, he was told that doing so would increase the monthly rent by $75 each month. Kevin decided he couldn’t afford that, so he asked for his first month’s rent back since he would not be renting from Ori. By October 2010, he still had not received his $900, so he was forced to file a lawsuit against Ori and OCF Realty for the money. Once again, the court ruled that Ori had illegally withheld money from a client and ordered him to return the $900, plus court costs, for a total of $1,016.
The Case of C. Francisco Buitrago
Mr. Buitrago entered into a lease with Ori’s OCF Realty on August 20, 2008 and put down a security deposit in the amount of $1,050. He vacated the property the next year on August 31, 2009. He requested his security deposit be returned, but he never got it back. He wrote another letter on October 29, 2009, but was still rejected. So in February of 2010, he filed a claim in Philadelphia Municipal Court. Finally, in April 2010, Ori’s firm gave in and settled the case with Mr. Buitrago.
Ori Feibush’s Company Promises, but Never Delivers
In August 2008, three plaintiffs, Andrea Roble, Glenn Roble, and Kathleen Barnes, entered into a rental agreement and paid OCF Realty with two certified checks totaling $3,600. The three tenants moved out in August 2009, returning the keys and leaving the property in good condition. In September 2009 the plaintiffs received a letter from OCF Realty promising to return their $3,600 security deposit. By November 2009, the deposit was still unreturned, so the plaintiffs filed suit in Philadelphia Municipal Court. Not until February 2010 did Ori and his firm finally throw in the towel and settle the case.
If, as Mr. Feibush has asserted, he believes his business experience is what best prepares him to serve on council, it appears that he’s raising more questions than he’s answering.
Our neighborhood and Philadelphia itself is at a crossroads, as issues have emerged and at every decision point, the Point Breeze Organizing Committee has raised the questions, “Who benefits? Who decides?”
The above pattern is a disturbing reminder of who benefits when Mr. Feibush is in charge and more importantly, who doesn’t. However, it is the voters of the 2nd District who will get to decide who represents us in City Hall.
The 2nd District is not for sale! Vote May 19th!