Human Service News and Information TV/Blog (CCTV)/ ALERTS/UPDATES; "Teardown ‘unoccupied’?" The resident disagrees – and has fought over 88 Holworthy St. for years.

Human Service News and Information TV/Blog (CCTV)/ ALERTS/UPDATES; "Teardown ‘unoccupied’?" The resident disagrees – and has fought over 88 Holworthy St. for years.

Occupant Ferahnaz Kahyaoglu Delares She Lives there and Landlord Stephen Sillari listed the property as “currently unoccupied.”

  • Posted on: 3 May 2021
  • By: HRASHID

Teardown ‘unoccupied’? The resident disagrees – and has fought over 88 Holworthy St. for years
By Annie Bennett
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Ferahnaz Kahyaoglu at 88 Holworthy St., where she has lived since 2012. (Photo: Annie Bennett)

The owner of 88 Holworthy St. plans to tear down the boarded-up, falling-apart 1872 structure and build a pair of two-family homes, creating apartments to rent. On a demolition application for the Strawberry Hill property that would pave the way for his project, Stephen Sillari listed the property as “currently unoccupied.”

But Ferahnaz Kahyaoglu lives at 88 Holworthy – and Sillari knows it, if only from some of the several lawsuits she has filed in recent years, since moving into the home in 2012. (The latest, in which she challenged Sillari’s ownership of the two-apartment home, was rejected by a Land Court judge on Monday. Kahyaoglu said she is appealing.)

The home at 88 Holworthy St. was built in 1872. (Photo: City of Cambridge)

That was long before Sillari owned the property, and thousands of pages in legal documents and conflicting stories from each party reflect a situation that is far from simple; Kahyaoglu has had legal run-ins with each of the three owners during her residency.

Kahyaoglu, born in Istanbul, was certified as a medical doctor from Turkey’s Cerrahpasa Medical School and in 2004 got a master of public health degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. On a 2020 alumni week page, she is described as a physician, public health specialist, writer, health reporter, instructor and researcher.

The property was not in much better shape in 2012, when she moved in. Her then landlord, Abul Maksud Sayied, was a “longtime friend” from Harvard, she said, and did not ask for rent. Instead, she would pay utilities only and act as his caretaker – and the Monday finding by judge Howard Speicher agrees that while Sayied lived in Apt. 2, after they “developed a personal relationship, [Kahyaoglu] lived in both Apt. 1 and Apt. 2.” Sayied promised her that when he died, the property or an equivalent value would go to her in his will, Kahyaoglu said in person and over email.

That is where details of the situation get complicated, and contradictory.

Change looms

After seven years of cohabitation at 88 Holworthy, Sayied became ill with cancer and moved to Texas to live with his son, Omar, leaving Kahyaoglu behind, according to court documents.

On March 27, 2019, five months before he died at 86, Sayied gave the property to his son for $1. The son sold the property to Sillari for $825,000 some 3.5 months later, on July 12, 2019; the sale was recorded with the county’s Registry of Deeds on Sept. 24, 2019, which is 19 days after the father died.

Sillari and the architect in charge of the redesign at 88 Holworthy, Dan Anderson, have launched a website and held multiple neighborhood meetings to gain support for the project.

A Planning Board hearing set for Tuesday will take up his plans; Kahyaoglu has asked to speak and probe Sillari’s claim to ownership, as well as her own future as a resident.

“He’s harassing me to try to get me to move out,” she said.

Health violations

Some of the conditions Kahyaoglu presents as existing inside 88 Holworthy St. (Photo: Ferahnaz Kahyaoglu)

Kahyaoglu alleges that Sillari has thrown out her personal belongings, declined to fix more than 200 health violations and boarded up areas that contain her possessions. Sillari forwarded all questions to his lawyer, who declined to comment; but there is a record responding that Kahyaoglu denied entrance to fix the violations – to which she said his only request has been to check the smoke detectors, which the city had recently said were in perfect shape. On Sept. 14, a city inspector found a toilet that requires manual flushing with a bucket of water, rampant water staining on ceilings, mouse droppings, roof holes being inhabited by raccoons, and other sanitary violations. Assessors describe the structure’s overall condition as “very poor.”

But before it was Sillari issuing a no-fault eviction in February, it was the son, Omar Sayied, who sent Kahyaoglu a notice to quit, and in July 2019, she responded similarly: by filing a Complaint for Protection from Harassment against the son through the Massachusetts Trial Court. It was approved and then revoked within a week, as the court found that “the purpose of [his] communication is not to harass.”

One of the signs posted around 88 Holworthy St. (Photo: Annie Bennett)

Kahyaoglu represents herself legally, and has filed cases in Housing Court and Appeals Court as well in Land Court, and against Abul Maksud Sayied as well as his son and Sillari, alleging that “Abul Sayied coerced her ‘to domestic servitude.’” She describes a situation of slavery in which she was required to be his sole caretaker and was isolated from her outside life, begging the question as to why she would refer to him as a companion.

A number of signs apparently sponsored by housing rights’ organization City Life/Vida Urbana decorate 88 Holworthy, claiming, “Stephen Sillari’s actions constitute unlawful, reckless, malice against the tenants that he fraudulently applied to the City to Demolish this property by signing it as ‘unoccupied property’ … This is a crime!” But City Life/Vida Urbana did not respond to requests for comment.

Lacking a will

Beyond the fact that the house is not “currently unoccupied,” and that there has been a wintertime and pandemic ban on evictions in place in Cambridge, not much else seems to support Kahyaoglu’s claims of ownership.

The Land Court judge, Speicher, said her 41-page complaint “fails to convey to the court any factually defined claim showing an entitlement to relief.”

Kahyaoglu has failed to produce the original or a copy of the will she said gave her 88 Holworthy, and “has been unable to inform the court how she knows such a will exists, or what happened to it,” the judge said. It would be irrelevant anyway: “Leaving one’s property to someone in a will does not obligate the testator to retain the property until death,” Speicher wrote. Because her latest lawsuit asked only compensatory and punitive damages and had nothing to do with a right, title or interest to the property, it is even beyond the jurisdiction of the Land Court, leaving the judge literally nothing to adjudicate.

A final claim by Kahyaoglu, but one that would never be judged in court, is that Sillari spends most of his time at a house in Plymouth and his residency in the neighborhood is false. (He is on record for owning 85 Holworthy St., but there is no residency requirement to do business in Cambridge.) Kahyaoglu’s next-door neighbor, Francis Bingham, said he sees Sillari around the neighborhood frequently, though.

“It’s a great neighborhood,” Bingham said, “but it’s got the mix of old Cambridge and new Cambridge.”

The Planning Board meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting can be attended via the Zoom videoconferencing platform.
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4 Comments
Jerry Vandesicon Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 5:23 pm
Kahyaoglu seems to think that she is due some sort of inheritance, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence. In any event, settling issues related to inheritance and estates is not something for housing court. She can sue the estate of the former owner in the proper court, but the current owner has every right to the property. She needs to find a new place to live.
SOURCE: By Annie Bennett; www.cambridgeday.com; https://www.cambridgeday.com/2021/04/27/teardown-unoccupied-the-resident...

HRASHID on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:43 am
Peace Be Unto You,

Tenants Can File Complaints Against Landlords Who Violate CDC Eviction Moratorium

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a joint statement on March 29 announcing that the agencies will monitor and investigate eviction practices to ensure landlords and property owners are complying with the federal, state, and local moratoriums. The statement acknowledges that major multistate landlords are evicting tenants despite the federal eviction moratorium or before tenants are aware of their rights. The CFPB and FTC will enforce penalties against landlords who violate the order.

The Biden administration announced on March 29 an extension of the federal eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021, and greater enforcement of the moratorium’s protections – two measures that will help keep millions of renters stably housed during the pandemic and prevent further spread of and deaths from COVID-19. Unfortunately, the administration did not strengthen the order to address the flaws that undermine its public health purpose. The Biden administration must strengthen the order and close the loopholes that some landlords have exploited to continue evicting renters from their homes and must ensure the moratorium’s protections are automatic and universal throughout the duration of the pandemic.

Renters can file complaints with the CFPB and the FTC against landlords who violate the eviction moratorium.

Access the CFPB complaint database at: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/

Access the FTC complaint database at: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?pid=B

Yours In Peace
Mr. Hasson Rashid
Concerned Citizen/ Resident
Cambridge,MA

Sam Nouberton Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:54 pm
^____ BLAH BLAH BLAH

Also, she isn’t a tenant. She’s a squatter and a grifter.

Phoenixon Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 11:47 am
Seems insane that this woman gets to squat at this house through THREE owners! Really does seem like grifting. Trying to look up the court cases related to this story, Google shows that she has a record of frivolously suing people to try to get stuff out of them… I’m all about protecting vulnerable tenants, but this just looks like a person who abuses the court system because she likes to live off of others for free.