Home News Rent Strike Looms In Rat-Ridden Park Slope Apts Without Gas: Tenants

Rent Strike Looms In Rat-Ridden Park Slope Apts Without Gas: Tenants

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Park Slope, Brooklyn — Tenants at Park Slope have been waiting for four months. tabloid landlord They are preparing a rent strike ahead of the cold winter to turn on the gas and possibly give away the toilet seat.

Residents of 219 13th St. held a rally Saturday outside their six-story apartment complex demanding immediate fixes for rat infestations, water leaks and shoddy repairs that owner Michael Shah said he had ignored for months. Did.

The motivation behind the rally was best summed up by eight-year-old tenant Milo Bird Howard.

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“It feels different,” Miro said of her first time participating in a protest against an issue that has directly affected her daily life.

Milo’s Point: “Don’t pay for what you can’t get.”

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Another organizer unfurled a banner with the message “NO GAS DON’T RENT HERE.” to passing apartment hunters.

The crowd cheered.

Brooklyn Eviction Defense organizers help tenants put up banners on buildings at 219 13th St. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)

“take care”

Park Slope tenants say they haven’t had gas in their apartments since May, but they’re not the only ones complaining.

The heat dropped regularly last winter, and one resident showed Patch an apartment with broken kitchen tiles and a bucket under a leaky toilet that catches drips.

Another resident said rats and rats suddenly appeared in a tenant’s apartment after building management began leaving loosely bagged garbage boiling in an alleyway for days.

According to city records, the building had recorded more than 100 violations, 22 of which were deemed “imminent danger” and resulted in gas outages, cockroaches, rats and rats to the city’s Housing Conservation and Development Department. and other complaints.

The building department is also awaiting a $2,700 fine for wiring problems dating back to 2019.

Hirota Reese, 21, is still waiting for a toilet seat.

Hirota, who moved into the building in January, said she was surprised when her request for basic necessities was turned down in a “really disrespectful and unresponsive” manner.

Hirota said to ask, “Do you really need a toilet seat?” before the manager started completely ignoring her calls.

According to Mr. Hirota, hot water comes out frequently, and pest damage is becoming serious. “Every floor of the building has a cockroach problem,” she said.

The manager who refused the toilet seat has since left, but it is equally impossible to contact the new manager and the tenant issue remains unresolved.

One day, when the tenant came home, there was a notice on the door telling him what was going on. The owner owed her $10,000 to National Grid.

A hot plate sits on top of a stove that hasn’t been running since May last year, Tennant said. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)

Milo’s mother, Tay Howard, 33, moved into the building last August with her husband and 3-year-old, without any warning, she said there was no gas in the building. told Patch.

Howard thought the hot plate with the ribbon was a kind gesture, but neighbors quickly smarted her up, she said.

A neighbor told her there was no heating or hot water the previous winter. Current problem: no gas.

“It was like mom-to-mom,” Howard said.

“At the time, we knew the problem wasn’t just the gas line going down for weeks,” Howard said.

Eight-year-old Milo and his mother Tay (Peter Senzamici | Patch)

Sydney Chu, 24, walks over broken tiles in her kitchen. There is a hot plate on top of what used to be a gas stove. In her bathroom, a bucket collects water from a leaking toilet pipe.

Sydney Chu in the kitchen at 219 13th St. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)
Chu has lived in the building for nearly two years, but says it hasn’t always been like this. She claims that the repairs were completed at a slow pace, but that they were actually done.

Aspiring social workers say things changed last November when tenants began receiving periodic emails from building managers warning them of intermittent heat.

Sidney Chu points to broken tiles in the kitchen. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)
That’s when Hirota, Howard, and Chu started talking to the other residents and found out that not only were they suffering from the same problem as her (gas or otherwise), but they were going to get together and talk about it.

“After communicating with all the tenants, we realized that there are probably 14 different reasons why there is no gas,” Chu said.

Reese Hirota spoke at a tenants’ rally last Saturday. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)

Part of the $1.2 billion painting

The 13th Avenue building is owned by a New York City billionaire whose bodybuilding priorities and questionable ties to city hall have been talked about for years, according to city records. the report shows.

Michael Shah of Delshah Capital LLC said: $1.2 billion portfolio According to the company’s website, there are 50 properties with approximately 2,000 units.

A trained lawyer, Shah manages many expensive properties. The company recently Nearly Completed $147 Million 180-Unit Building in Downtown Brooklyn, according to Real Deal.of another interview with the magazinehe described business during the 2008 recession as “amazing”.

His history of making tabloid headlines is not so much.

Shah was sued by the city in 2012. Suspicion of property tax evasionaccording to a profile on The Real Deal.

In 2013, the Daily News reported that the Shah may have had. Help from then public advocate Bill de Blasio By excluding his name from the infamous “worst landlord” list.

put a post The Shah is worth at least $300 million And he detailed a personal coach that cost him $15,000 a month and helped him lose 30 pounds.

The Shah purchased 219 13th St. $11 million in 2018 as part of The Bigger, $100 Million Deal It will scoop up 28 buildings from its former owner, the Silver Shore property, according to city property data and reports.

The Shah’s name is associated with at least 44 buildings in the city, with 219 13th Street having the honor of having the 103 most open HPD violations.

Rents continue to rise.

In the lawsuit, DS Brooklyn Portfolio Owner LLC, the LLC of the Shah and the building, Illegally deregulating units and harassing tenantsThe building’s attorneys deny claims of deregulation. dispute that the shah is the ownerdespite the portfolio sale being widely covered by the real estate press, has yet to respond to the harassment allegations.

Notifications to tenants provided by Delshah Management. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)

According to the building’s registration with HPD, which expired earlier this month, Michael Shah is located at 219 13th St.

The website justfix.org is all 25 unit rents have stabilized since 2007The database provided by the neighborhood association includes 7 stable rent units in 2019.

13th Avenue, according to StreetEasy The building has 9 units listed Available for rent from June, currently 2 listings active. Rent ranges from $2650 to $4400 for him, most of which he is over $3,000.

According to a recent listing, the apartment at 219 13th Street was sold last month. $4,300/monthThe 2016 price was $2,600.

“Gorgeous” is what the listing says. “GUT Renovated”.

Multiple attempts to contact Shah & Dersher Capital LLC by email or the phone number provided for the company have been unsuccessful. I called the current building manager whose number was provided by the current tenant, but no response.

“Liberty to Exploit”

Growing concerns and lack of action eventually spurred Tennant to formalize their association. One of his tenants reached out to the housing organization Brooklyn Eviction Defense hotline to help organize the association.

On Saturday, the newly formed Tenant Association held a rally.

Message: Tenants will go on rent strike unless the issue is resolved by the end of the month.

Nicholas Vargas, founding member of the Brooklyn Eviction Defense, said, “We will not allow any more situations to kick our neighbors out of their homes.

“We are here to say that we are not going to allow evictions to occur.”

Local politicians also seem to show their support, with Comptroller Brad Lander (a neighbor) speaking briefly and Council member Shahana Hanif showing solidarity with struggling tenants. I was.

“People are seeing opportunities to make money by kicking people out of their homes by denying them service…regardless of what rights tenants have,” Lander said.

“[It’s] I hope we can get people out of buildings and double, triple, quadruple rents. ”

Inspector General Brad Lander and council member Shahana Hanif speak to residents and organizers after Saturday’s gathering. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)

kind note

While the Oct. 1 rent strike deadline looms, some tenants have already refused to pay for gas and maintenance shortages.

Data analyst Hirota said he, like many other tenants, has started withholding rent from management asking for repairs.

A neighbor who has lived in Hirota for 30 years said the problems started when Shah bought the building in 2018.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Hirota noticed that some of the former tenants who had moved out with the same problem had posted letters on the building’s front door.

“They posted this lovely handwritten letter of solidarity saying that they stand in solidarity with the Tenants Association and that they intend to be there for us,” she said. I got

“It was really sweet.”

219 13th St. (Peter Senzamici | Patch)

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