NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A pair of signs posted on apartment doors sitting across from each other in a Brooklyn tenement offer a foreboding message.
The signs read ‘Vacant Do Not Enter’ and were posted after the city deemed the bathrooms and the kitchens in the two Linden Street apartments dangerous and unsafe, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.
Noelia Calero showed CBS 2’s cameras the apartment that she has lived in for years. Calero said that eight months ago her landlord gutted her apartment and neighbor Michelle Crespo’s with sledgehammers and saws as part of an apparent plan to renovate the unit.
“This is inhumane,” Crespo said, “I have a family.”
The tenants have taken landlord Joel Israel to court but repairs have not been made.
The city agency for Housing Preservation and Development issued a statement regarding the situation.
“The conditions at 98 Linden are extreme. We intend to use all of the enforcement tools at our disposal to hold the owner accountable and to get the building repaired,” Commissioner Vicki Been said.
Officials said that Israel owns at least 9 buildings and has 85 open violations at the Linden Street location alone.
A partial vacate order has been issued meaning that bedrooms can still be used but demolished areas are off limits as the city pursues the landlord.
The tenants and their attorney believe that the landlord is trying to force them out of their rent-stabilized homes so he can charge higher rent.
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