NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dozens of tenants living at a Queens apartment building say they’re living in dangerous conditions and the people responsible are refusing to fix it.
There are currently 573 open building violations at 1415 Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway. Tenants say the biggest violation is a broken elevator that hasn’t worked in three years.
Iran Rivera is one of many elderly tenants who struggle up several flights of stairs daily in the six-story building.
“It’s terrible. It’s hard. I gotta pay people. ‘Here, can you carry this? I’ll give you $5. I’ll give you an extra dollar if you carry me down the stairs,'” Rivera told CBS2’s Charlie Cooper said.
He and dozens of others say that’s just the beginning of their problems. Some have no heat. Others have no electricity.
“It’s a lot of mold and holes in the walls,” tenant Robin King said.
In the 43-unit building, CBS2 found rusty tubs, leaking ceilings, roaches and half-fixed appliances.
“Our winter seasons are pretty cold out here and for our windows to not be insulated and not to be right, something needs to be done about that,” Susie Wilson said.
Wilson is one of 15 tenants suing the building’s owner and new management company, claiming they haven’t made repairs or even given tenants timelines for them. Tenants have been holding their rent as a result.
“You’re saying you’re not responsible for what the last owner left us with, so how do you want people to pay you for something that you’re saying you’re not responsible for? But yet you’re not willing to fix,” Wilson said.
Alex Jacobs is the attorney representing the tenants and wants the landlord and management company to meet its responsibilities.
“When they purchased the building, they purchased it with all the liens and obligations, which include repairs that are there when they go to inspect,” Jacobs said.
The landlords, Neighborhood Restore and Concord Management of NY, told CBS2 they plan on fixing the issues, but that’s part of a larger project that will take more time.
Tenants say they need help now.
The tenants and landlords will be back in court Dec. 18.