Monday, April 26, 2010

Mis-"Khan"-duct Won't Be Tolerated by McKinley Neighbors!

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photo by Megan Goodmundson.

The McKinley neighborhood invited both the owner of the Northside Food Market and Mahmood Khan to their Crime and Safety meeting on April 26th. Having blogged once on one issue and extensively on Khan, I decided to attend. Surprisingly, Khan showed up, although the owner of the Northside Food Market stayed away.

One editorial note: The dialogue taking place was rather intense at times, so I opted not to take photos. I worried that doing so might have caused Khan or his tenants (yes, he brought his tenants along, more on that later) to leave entirely.

Once introductions were made, Khan took the floor and said...

...that he had "good tenants who pay rent on time." But, oh gee, he sure doesn't want any problems with the neighborhoods. So if the NEIGHBORHOOD wants his tenants gone, then he would evict them (or not renew their month-to-month lease).

This was certainly an interesting ploy. What Khan seemed to be attempting to do was to put the McKinley neighborhood in the position of being the force behind eviction of a supposedly good tenant. And the only qualifier for "good tenants" used initially was whether the rent was paid on time.

A little back story is in order as well. The property in question, 3238 Bryant Ave N, has been owned by Khan for quite some time. The current occupants have only been in the house since about October of last year, or roughly six months. The previous tenants, who lived there while Khan was the owner, reportedly had an actual "open/closed" store sign in the window for when they were or were not selling drugs. Those occupants are long gone, but the activity that at least LOOKS like drug dealing continued.

So on April 15, the Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF) executed a search warrant at 3238 Bryant Ave N. For the record, this is NOT a small thing. It takes a court order to get this and significant activity needs to be observed within ten days of the action being taken. A SWAT team or something close to it with bullet-proof gear goes in, and there has to be something major to call in a raid like that.

Then the tenants - a man and a woman - spoke, and the woman was in tears about the experience. Whether one is guilty or not, I'm sure that being the subject of such a raid is a truly terrifying experience. She also said that their dog was shot during the raid. The tenants claimed that the warrant did not result in the police finding anything, although what may have come of it is not yet public information.

The man urged people not to judge him yet, and said that he has his peddler's license and makes his money selling "towels, socks, body oil, and CD's." He said that now that he had his license, there was nothing anyone could do about it because he was legitimate. He later said that he sold CD's to his friends, and "you know how it is." The way he described at least the sale of CD's was very similar to language used by the near-incessant stream of bootleggers at the Hawthorn (sic) Crossings strip mall. Just sayin'.

A lot of back-and-forth went on between residents, the tenants, and Khan, and it boiled down to this: Residents see a constant flow of traffic in front of the house. People stop by for 3-5 minutes, often one person stays in the car, and then they're gone. Other times, the cars that stop in front of the house will have other vehicles pull up next to them and then drive off. The tenants claimed that these people were just relatives and weren't doing anything wrong. And the ones that weren't relatives were buying the towels, socks, body oil, or CD's. You know how it is.

(For the record, even though I did not believe much of what the tenants had to say, I still found it preferable that they were in the same room talking with other residents and trying to work things out.)

Then Khan was asked about his screening process. He said he does a background check, and when questioned as to where he gets his background information, he said "a website." Well that's certainly a relief! Glad you're using the INTERNET, can't go wrong THERE! When pushed, he claimed it was a county website that lists criminal activity, and when he needs, he asks the police department for help. Immediately, the police contact at the meeting countered that he has not called her office.

Khan said he'd been in the property management business for 23 years, and that he does all his own background checks. He would not say how many properties he owned in Minneapolis or in general, although he was asked this question several times. In a public hearing, he admitted to having "30 or 40, I don't know exactly," in Minneapolis alone. When residents pointed out that doing background checks on all tenants could almost be a full-time job in and of itself (not to mention checking up on tenants, maintaining properties, collecting rent, and doing all the other things a landlord does), Khan said that his wife sometimes helps with those extensive computer searches.

Khan made no mention to the McKinley group about his other job as a flight attendant, by the way. A thorough account of how Khan handles himself in meetings can be found here.

The McKinley neighborhood sent two letters to Khan at 2972 Old Highway 8, Roseville MN, although he claimed never to have received them. Those letters detailed problems at Khan's McKinley properties and invited him to be part of a solution. Khan instead requested that people call him at 612-998-2500. He was pressed about whether he would respond to other written communication and said that he really preferred being called instead.

One McKinley resident spoke up saying that Khan was not doing an acceptable job of screening tenants. Khan would bring in some tenants and they wouldn't work. The neighborhood would have to fight against drug and other illicit activities. Then after a hard battle, those tenants would go, and a new batch would come in, often just as bad as the last one. "We're sick of being your science experiment," the neighbor said.

Khan's response was, "I'm doing the best I can." To which he was told, "Well, you need to do better."


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a hard working entrepenuer to me. I wish him the best. It must be very difficult to manage all those properties and work as a flight attendant.

The American dream is alive and well.

Johnny Northside said...

We have really gotten some milage out of that photo taken by Megan. Special thanks to Megan. And Jeff, way to "hold the bloggy fort" while I am away.

John Hoff (Williamsburg, Kentucky)

Sarah Maske said...

Awesome post. None of this is funny of course, but the list of "products" the tenant sells is laughable. Good grief.

Hom-ey in NO-MI said...

Too true Sarah! If only there were another place to get socks, body oils, and CDs.....Wonder if he does price matching like Target does.

We all know this is a line of BS. I think what is happing now is GREAT!..these folks need to know that the neighborhoods of NoMi are sick of this crap and are going to take whatever legal means necessary to correct it!

Jeff Skrenes said...

I want to point out another thing as well. Khan claims that he has no management company to handle applications, background checks, maintenance, etc. It's all on his shoulders, except for when his wife sometimes helps with the computer.

Khan also claims to own 30-40 properties in Minneapolis alone. At a public hearing Khan said he works as a flight attendant. Having never been a flight attendant/owner of scores of properties, I don't have direct experience in how one would accomplish both things.

But isn't a flight attendant, well GONE quite a bit? When one gets on a plane, doesn't one usually fly away for a while? That might be okay if Khan HAD a management company. Or it might be okay if Khan has demonstrated that he can handle both the flight attendant and landlord roles well.

For his sake, I hope he's a top-notch flight attendant, because he'll be forced out of the slumlord business eventually. We won't be putting up with this any longer.

Shaun said...

Its clear Mr. Khan is gambling with his property management business with NO regards to the damage it does to our community. Even without his "career" as a flight attendant, managing 30-40 properties successfully is not possible. To use the McKinley community as a shield from disgruntled tenants is absolutely dishonorable and shameful. What are the steps necessary to revoke a rental license? This is clearly a case of negligence and greed gone bad.

Anonymous said...

I hope I'm on his plane one of these days. After confirming his identity, I will stand up and announce to the entire aircraft that "This man is one of the nastiest slumlords in Minnesota."

Anonymous said...

What a joke

Kahn gives tenants a chance and it does not always work out. I know for a fact that there are people on this blog that have been far less than above board when it comes to breaking the rules in their lives.

Sounds like a rant against another property owner of color.

Sounds like a comment freely expressing a view is not open for discussion anymore from what I have been told by my neighbor.

Gee thanks guys.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, what do business do you self appointed self righteous do gooders think belongs in NoMi? Only Target and other megacorporations?

It seems your answer to every problem in NoMi is to shut down a business or kick out a landlord. Whether it is "butt" glass at a shoe store or a landlord that can't control every aspect of his tenant's behavior, your universal refrain is to drive them out.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:21 PM:

I don't have any problems with businesses in NoMi as long as they don't detract from my quality of life by creating liter, noise, loitering and crime.

What I think people see as a problem, as would I, is people constantly coming and going from a property. I know from personal experience, when that happens almost every car that pulls up to the property will have a loud blasting radio and the occupant will throw something out of their window be it a McDonalds bag, a wrapper a dirty diper or maxi pad.

Gross. If you don't like living up to basic standards of humanity, maybe you should move. I sure the hell don't won't you around me.

Hom-ey in NO-MI said...

To Anon:

"It seems your answer to every problem in NoMi is to shut down a business or kick out a landlord".

What the community is calling for is for SLUMlords (not land lords) to take action for the homes they have their name on. There is nothing wrong with owning rental and investment property--if you TREAT it AS an investment. We see time and time again are these SLUMlords throwing whoever into unfit homes to get whatever money they can out of them. There are no controls, no measures to check backgrounds and they become a problem for the COMMUNITY-- not the owner who will just slap a new coat of white paint on the house (maybe) and put someone else just as bad in there. For a SLUMlord like Kahn to have 30-40 properties in or around North, have no means to take of these properties, to screen proper residents, to manage issues that arise AND then to live in Roseville!? Of COURSE he doesn't care--it doesn’t affect him. I think a few months living in one of his worst properties or pulling his ability to Rent in NoMi would be a good wake up for his Slummyness.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:21 says:
Honestly, what do business do you self appointed self righteous do gooders think belongs in NoMi? Only Target and other megacorporations?

It seems your answer to every problem in NoMi is to shut down a business or kick out a landlord. Whether it is "butt" glass at a shoe store or a landlord that can't control every aspect of his tenant's behavior, your universal refrain is to drive them out.

Dennis Plante replies:
There's no basis for your comments, so it's really not too diffifcult to respond.

If your interest were truly centered around NOMI AND its residents, it'd be clear to you that this is NOT the type of landlord that you'd want owning a property next door to where you lived. Regardless of whether you owned the house next door, or were just renting.

As long as there's a mentality out there such as what you've prtrayed, I'd suspect there'll be a JNS blog, or its equivalent.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:21

You can eat shit if you want to, but I'm not going to look at it, smell it, live in it, or deal with it, let alone eat it.

So, if you want to eat shit go right ahead, but you're going to have to move the fuck outta here to do it, because we will not quit until the purveyors of shit are gone.

Mr. Khan is a leading purveyor of shit.

Johnny Northside! said...

His American Dream is our nightmare.

Three words: House Of Poop.

Matt said...

Johnny Northside,

Don't you think the mortgage company (who is allowing this fast and loose lending) to Kahn should be raked over the coals too. They obviously don't care and are the enabler. It is these type of lenders that are destroying our neighborhood.

Jeff Skrenes said...

Anon 8:48,

Without going down to the county and pulling records on each property, it's not clear if there is a singular mortgage company largely responsible for financing his slumminess. There may not even BE a mortgage lien filed against his properties. It's possible he used his own cash or some form of under-the-table financing.

But your point is essentially a valid one. Those who provide financing that enables harmful behavior are responsible for the damage inflicted on our neighborhood as well.

Matt said...


I think we should go after the bank. These out of state lenders who don't give a crap about or neighborhood and what they are doing to it really bother me a lot. I know a local bank that knows how hard all of us work would never let this happen.

I totally agree with Jeff that the lender is equally responsible in this situation. Does anyone know how to track down the lender on some of Mr. Kahn's properties so we can be aware of this predatory lender that is destroying our neighborhood?

Jeff, it sounds like you make it downtown once in awhile, can you put that on your radar so we can start targeting this lender. It would certainly be a heads up to see who else they are lending to in the area so we can keep our watchful eye on them, in case they step out of line and try to bend or break the rules.

Anonymous said...

Yea Jeff,

Not only this guy but if you could pull all the lending information for mr Reitman, and why not look up all the records for John's L3SO's he outed and lets list those banks as well. Please let us know when you've completed that work. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Bank of America or Wells Fargo is going to run for the hills once you idiots turn your sights on them.


Jeff Skrenes said...

Anon 6:40,

Pulling together that much mortgage data would be an enormous task AND would require significant time spent downtown (meaning away from the office). Contrary to what some people accuse me of, I simply don't have the kind of time available to gather that much data.

Now if anyone wants to COORDINATE a trip downtown and I can TEACH you all how to navigate the records, we could pull this off. Anyone who is serious about such a task, contact me.


I'll cross that bridge if or when I come to it. But if we do find a specific lender financing slumminess in NoMi, I'm confident we can deal with them.