Friday, March 09, 2007

The State Street Building From Hell

We got an email from a reader living on State Street who details the situation at a building that shows 66 code violations from the beginning of 2006 through last week, not counting hundreds more in previous years. The resident writes:
I live at 451 State Street in Brooklyn and it's a nightmare and there doesn't seem to be anyone in the NYC government to help. We don't have heat or hot water basically every other week for a few days and all the city does is take the complaint and sometimes issue a violation (where the City gets the violation money yet we get nothing and we're the ones with the higher electricity bills because of portable heaters or hotel bills because it was just too cold to stay in the apartment). There was a dog being held captive in the basement but, thank god, he was rescued. The smell of his feces and urine still remain... Garbage is never taken out because there is no super, so tenants wind up doing it so that it doesn't pill up 10 feet high in the front.

I have a real issue with our lack of support from the City. One would think that constant violations would amount to something. Letters from the city as well as certified mail slips stack up near the mailboxes until the landlord collects them...but there doesn't seem to be any follow up on the City's part or ANY real help for us. Logging complaint after complaint is useless, it seems...I just want to get out of my lease or receive some compensation for the nightmare.
Of course, you could produce an entire Brooklyn blog (and several New York City ones) based on tales like this. We're especially struck by the lack of responsiveness by the city. It's not surprising, given municipal nonfeasance on a daily basis as it concerns construction, development and landlord-tenant matters, but it still stinks.


Blogger Kate said...

Sing it, brother. Can't we do something? Class action suit?

Bloomberg, in my experience, is a good mayor EXCEPT where construction and landlords are concerned. What gives?

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is someone forcing you to stay there? I would have moved a long time ago. Unless, of course, the rent is cheap enough that it is worth putting-up with that mess. But in that case, I wouldn't be compaining -- its a reasonable deal.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the lease is forcing me...i can't figure out if i can be held responsible for breaking a lease based on her irresponsibility in not providing adequate services? and, it's expensive to move...

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous, your attitude is crap. tenants have rights, whether landlords (or anyone else) likes it or not. no tenant should move because a landlord won't maintain the building. that's not how the system works. if landlords don't like that, they should get out of the rental business.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous babs said...

There is such a thing as a warranty of habitability in your lease -- read it -- an apartment with no heat ar hot water in the winter in uninhabitable. No landlord-tenant court would hold you liable - -get out now - -forget about your security deposit and go. I really doubt your landlord will even know or care.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warranty of habitablity is nice - but the remedy in rent stabilized buildings is to pay for the heat service yourself and knock the price off of your rent. Although - in reality - at this building you'd have to shell out a lot of dough because its oil and it would be a few thousand dollars.

This landlord also happens to be very lawsuit-happy. Crazy enough to at least file suit to cause someone the pais of having to answer a suit and appear is court.

Anyone else have ideas?

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this blog about Sonia Santos, the landlord of this building and another at 341 5th Avenue in Park Slope: Bad Landlord - Sonia Santos.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

What about the Boerum Hill Association/ State Street Association. I've seen fliers about their meetings posted on some trees. Can they exert any pressure on this woman? At the very least, it is a greater lobbying body than a few tenants.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm involved with the State Street block association, and I can tell you that that landlord has been an ongoing nightmare. She cannot be reasoned with, she screams and curses if you try to talk to her. When you call the city all you can do is make (another) complaint. There is a real rat crisis on our block. Everyone knows there are hundreds in the basement of 451, but the city will not take control, they just keep giving her violations and putting out bait. Currently there isn't even a sidewalk in front of the building. Her contractor tore it up and for some reason left it that way for weeks now. I don't know what it takes for the city to finally take a piece of property away from the owner, but it can't get any worse than this.

11:39 AM  

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