NYC Tenants Sue Banks To Force Repairs At Foreclosed Apartment Buildings

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Elected officials took aim at some of the largest banks in New York City Monday blaming them for failing to make repairs on on foreclosed apartment buildings for which they hold mortgages.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn insisted that the banks must take responsibility for the buildings, saying that officials will “hold the banks accountable” by passing legislation in addition to the lawsuit being filed by tenants.

“If they didn’t want to be the landlords, they shouldn’t have given the bad loans. You break it, you buy it. You give the loan, you own it,” Quinn said to the applause of tenants.

In most of the six apartments, the floors are coming up and the ceilings are coming down. Electricity is on in only some of the building.

Marta Rivera, 71, told CBS 2’s John Slattery of the many problems experienced by residents of her building.

“The heat, the water…roaches, a lot of mice,” she said.

Rivera has lived in the apartment on 5th Avenue in Park Slope for 45 years under rent control, paying $149 a month.

“There’s no heat, no hot water during the winter. The roof is collapsing,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Hears From Council Speaker Christine Quinn

Others also talked talk about the infestation of rats and roaches in their homes. Evelyn Phillips explained that the ceiling in her apartment had caved in and made the problem worse.

“The whole building was open where giants rats has come into our building and my house is infested with roaches,” she said.

Quinn reiterated her call for the banks to step up and make the repairs, saying she and other officials would engage the Financial Disputes Resolution Commission (FDRC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

“I’ll tell you who the real rat in this deal is right now, it’s the banks,” Quinn said.

More from Stan Brooks In Memoriam
  • Grant

    Hey guys, does any of you really believes that Quinn or any body else read that staff you wrote or even care what you write?
    All what Quinn and Co care is to be re-elected to the office and getting paid by taxpayers money and getting “free gifts” from lobbyists of businesses such as landlords.
    They are the ones who actually run this freakish city!!

  • Aleksandr Nemets

    Ms. speaker Quinn,
    instead of making all that worthless noise take actions.
    Best way to help all New yorkers is to make rent tax deductible.
    This way everyone involved will think twice before even try to raise rent.
    Because if rent is tax deductible it will lower amount of taxes taken from us to government while taxes from landlords will be raised amount wise.
    Will one compensate another, doubtful. But it will make tax spenders think twice before vote to raise rent!

  • Grant

    Hey guys, do you remember when Banks introduced ATM cards what did they say to you?
    It is the same as a credit card, you will not have to pay a dime to use it.
    It is good for you because you do not have to wait in line for service anymore as well as for banks because it cut banks spending and improve operational efficiency.
    Same was told by MTA about metro card just a few years ago.
    Now they charge you at least $3 for single ATM use and MTA going to charge $1(small fee) for any new card you buy.
    Until we do not take action they will abuse US!!!

    • Grant

      IT goes for BANKS and LANDLORS.
      Both are greedy and make money on our blood.

  • Angela

    My paents live in a rent control apartment for over 30 years and they had done all the repairs from plumbing to flooring, installing a water heater and electric heater, painting, having no gas service, installing broken windows, fixed doors, etc… my parents spent so much money to do these repairs and furnishings because the LL refused to do any work in hopes of pushing tenants out. The LL didnt spend any of his monies nor complied in any way. LL intentionally caused years of leaks, fire etc…until recently when he was introduced to the Courts. So LL’ds dont invest into RC / RS buildings in hopes of harrasing the elderly tenants out for those luxury apartments that the middle class like myself cant afford. Your destroying our communities and mom and pop stores!!

  • Goblin

    $149.00 rent? No wonder the Landlord walked away. It seems like the tenants with the biggest mouths are the ones paying the least and asking for the most.

  • Rich Ward

    Funny, the tenants share no blame? I don’t think so. Money doesn’t grow on trees. These tenants drove the landlord into foreclosure. The tenant is paying $150 a month after 35 years. – Heating oil is $4 a gallon. Do the math. The landlord, the perennial favorite whipping boy of tenants, sometimes but not always with good cause, was pushed in this case until s/he simply bailed. Now the same penny-pinching tenants, having driven the landlord out of business, have set their sights on the next owner lower down left holding the bag. Maybe the tenants want to buy the building and fix it up? I’m sure they must have saved an awful lot of money over the past 30-40 years paying below-market rent. IMHO, rent control should be abolished. It is a financial artifice that serves nobody in the long run – not the tenants (they have had the best deal for 30+ years, and they are still complaining); not the landlord (s/he’s been squeezed into foreclosure); not the banks (you think they asked for this aggravation?); not John Q Public (it just deflates the value of the property of every homeowner in the neighborhood). And now the CBS reporters are championing the tenants’ drive for services that the tenants have never fully underwritten and never will. Would somebody PLEASE buy me a condo in Florida? Sheesh…

    • Aleksandr Nemets

      That particular tenant lives in apartment without roof and no heat or any other services.
      Landlord should pay to here for not taking him to court for this alone.
      And actually there is a similar place to live with cheaper price-$0 for a live.
      Do you want to move there?
      Under Brooklyn bridge! Only issue there that you will be called homeless, job search will sucks for you then…

  • None Of Your Business

    You don’t think the banks — which got even richer with the bailout–funded, of course, by bankrupt taxpayers — give a damn about tenants, do you? As long as the banks are bleeding us dry, then everything is right with the world.

  • Rodin


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