NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents in a Crown Heights apartment building protested what they call deplorable conditions Monday.

The management company says it’s committed to making repairs.

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(credit: CBS2)

As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, there are exposed ceiling beams and plaster is everywhere in one bathroom. Tenant Jessica Diggs said she narrowly missed getting seriously hurt.

“Next thing you know, it was coming down, I felt the debris on me. I went to move out the way, tripped over the broom, and hit my head,” Diggs said.

Diggs said a leak above caused the leak Saturday afternoon.

She said when the super came a few hours later, he poked around, promising to come back and make repairs. Minutes after he left, she says the ceiling came down. She claimed it’s the latest incident after years of problems.

“Since this new management take over, I have been living in hell,” she said.

(credit: CBS2)

On Monday morning, a small group of tenants rallied outside the building at 1193 Eastern Parkway, managed by Barberry Rose Management. BRM owner Lewis Barbanel was on the New York City Public Advocate’s 2020 “Worst Landlord List,” coming in at No. 2. Tenants claim BRM, which has several buildings, takes too long to make repairs, and when they do, it’s just patchwork.

“Why these people treating people like this? I don’t understand, because they would not live under these conditions,” said tenant Lorna Jordan.

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Diggs is one of about 15 tenants on a rent strike since April 2020, due to building conditions and the pandemic.

A BRM spokesperson said Diggs made contact Saturday night and “the property manager responded to her, apologizing for the inconvenience.”

Here’s their full statement:

We are aware of the claimed case involving Jessica Diggs.  A resident on the top floor (above Ms. Diggs) flooded their bathroom, resulting in water traveling to the first floor.  She contacted us Saturday night.  The Property Manager responded to her, apologizing for the inconvenience and explaining the situation to her.  He requested access to her apartment to complete the repairs.  Ms. Diggs has not responded to us yet.  We are ready to make the repairs as soon as she gives access.

Unfortunately, these types of incidents happen.  When they do, BRM will make all necessary repairs and comply with all NYS & NYC codes/rules. Multiple access dates must be coordinated with the Super and Property Manager in order to complete these.  The open violations have been corrected, and we are waiting for inspection dates from HPD to get them removed from record.

The building has a new boiler, a new computer monitoring system for the heat and hot water, new roof, new hallway & lobby, an upgraded entrance & landscaping, and we are in the process of upgrading the cooking gas system.

We are not able to cancel all rents as none of the expenses for the building have been canceled.  Paying rent allows us to keep the building clean and residents & staff safe during these challenging times for our community.

(credit: CBS2)

BRM claims Diggs did not initially respond when it asked for apartment access to complete repairs. She denies that, and Monday morning crews arrived to start cleaning and repairing.

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BRM said open violations at the building have been corrected, and it has made several upgrades to the building, including a new roof and boiler. The management company added that paying rent allows it to keep the building clean and safe.

Andrea Grymes