“Tenants Living Amid Rubble in Rent-Regulated Apartment”

The Times story, amply illustrated by photos and even a video, makes the blood boil.

Is this what unspeakably horrid, greedy landlords can do to their tenants? Yes, but they can also be challenged in Housing Court. Still, it’s a stinking story that begins:

The letter from the landlord [Joel Israel of Linden Ventures L.L.C.] said he needed access to the apartments for a couple of weeks to make repairs.

The worker who showed up the next morning was armed with a sledgehammer and an electric saw, the tenants said, and took just hours to destroy the kitchens and the bathrooms. When the worker was done, the tenants in 1L could see the building’s basement through the remnants of their kitchen floor.

Eight months later, the kitchens and bathrooms in Apartments 1L and 1R, two rent-stabilized units on the ground floor of a six-unit building in Bushwick, Brooklyn, are still a gutted mess of exposed beams and debris. And the tenants and the landlord are locked in a standoff that underscores the anxiety coursing through changing neighborhoods, where many landlords are trying to capitalize on New York City’s robust real estate market while many lower-income tenants wonder how long they will be able to hold on to their homes.

And these monstrous landlords lied in an Environmental Control Board hearing, stating it was the tenants who did the damage. At some point, this has to become a criminal matter, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, this article, by Mireya Navarro, is a fairly good beginner’s guide to the dire rent-regulated and -controlled apartment situation in New York City.

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