NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tenants of one Bronx building are accusing their landlord of neglect and putting him on notice.
Residents of 1841-1847 University Avenue in Morris Heights allege their landlord, Robert Khomari, has been slacking on repairs and using intimidation tactics.
“He’s banking on tenants not knowing their rights,” City Councilman Fernando Cabrera said.
But residents said they’re wising up. They went public Monday with a letter they said they sent to Khomari back in February, demanding timely repairs. They say the letter went unanswered.
Resident Marilyn Rivera says she and others in the building are fearful because they’re threatened or offered low buyouts when they ask for repairs, which only come after multiple 311 calls.
One tenant said the cold is unbearable on nights with no heat and claims her apartment was overrun by rats when workers cut a hole to fix a gas leak and never closed it. She said that she was also offered a buyout for $2,000, which she found insulting, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
Xyna Brockington, whose mother used to live in the building, says residents put up with miserable conditions.
“Rodents infestation, no intercom, broken mailboxes, rental overcharges,” Brockington said.
Cabrera said he’s hearing more horrific stories of harassment of low-rent tenants in the Bronx as the housing market heats up.
“They want to remove people who have been here 20, 30, 40 years,” Cabrera said.
Tenants also say Khomari has kept his violation count low by keeping out housing inspectors.
1010 WINS has reached out to the landlord for comment.