Tenants from 1060 Sheridan Avenue in the Bronx filed suit in Housing Court November 15 in another attempt to force their landlord to correct the dangerous conditions in their building.
The five-story, 30-apartment building, one block east of the Grand Concourse between East 165th and 166th streets, had 305 violations listed by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development before tenants filed an “HP action” in October, a suit to force their landlord, Ezra Bennet and 1048-1064 Sheridan Investors LLC, to make repairs.
As of Nov. 15, the building still had 164 violations, including 67 Class ‘C’ violations, considered “immediately hazardous” and required to be corrected within 48 hours. They included mice and roaches, damaged floors, broken appliances in the bathrooms and kitchens, broken windows, broken doors, and apartments without working smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. Tenants also say that they often lacked heat and hot water last winter, that the front door isn’t adequately locked, that ceilings leak, and that the garbage chutes were locked shut a few years ago, forcing them to take trash outside.
“Because we work late, we also have to cook later,” third-floor resident Maman Ouattara said in a statement released by Community Action for Safe Apartments, which has been helping the tenants organize. “When we finish preparing dinner at 11 or 12 at night, we cannot throw trash away because we feel unsafe going outside. If we leave the trash outside our hallway, the rats will come.”
The tenants, most of whom primarily speak languages other than English, began organizing in January. They are being represented in court by Bronx Legal Services’ Tenant Rights Coalition, funded by the city Human Resources Administration’s Anti-Harassment and Tenant Protection program