MORRIS HEIGHTS — A gaggle of Bronx tenants affected by rat infestations, collapsing ceilings and damaged heating methods are taking their landlord to courtroom to drive him to make repairs.
“We’ve all the time obtained to be calling 311 to make complaints,” tenant Marilyn Rivera stated in Spanish, talking via a translator. “After you make complaints one, two, 3 times, then they could come to deal with them.”
Rivera and different tenants filed a lawsuit final week in Bronx Supreme Civil Courtroom towards their landlord Robert Khomari of Common Heights 18 LLC in an effort to pressure him to make enhancements to the constructing.
Tenants organized with the assistance of the Northwest Bronx Group & Clergy Coalition, and in a Feb. 14 letter to Khomari, they tried to attract his consideration to issues of their houses, which included a scarcity of warmth and scorching water, collapsing ceilings, damaged mailboxes and infestations of rodents and roaches.
The letter demanded that Khomari take “quick steps to remedy the problems” and meet with tenants on the constructing, however greater than two months later, residents stated dwelling circumstances on the constructing remained poor.
Rivera, who has lived within the constructing for 33 years, stated the issues with mice and rats have continued and that even when repairs on the constructing are carried out, they don’t seem to be finished very properly.
“They put this door right here, as you’ll be able to see, they usually made copies of the important thing, they usually’re charging us to get the important thing to our door,” she stated. “$sixteen simply to have the ability to enter.”
Rivera typically catches three or extra mice per week in her house, whereas tenant Felipa Rodriguez was at one level catching greater than 15 mice over just some weeks, in line with the go well with.
The constructing at present has 12 open violations with the Division of Buildings and 29 open violations with the Division of Housing Preservation and Improvement.
Whitney Viets, a employees lawyer at Bronx Authorized Providers, stated they determined to file a lawsuit over circumstances on the constructing in housing with a purpose to drive Khomari to make repairs to the constructing.
“This can be a landlord that has been disregarding the rights of tenants for a while, it seems,” she stated, “and I feel we’re simply very exited to help these tenants in getting the aid that they deserve.”