Not only are they forced to share their homes with rats and roaches, but people who live in a Queens apartment building are being harassed by their landlord, according to new court papers.
As if the vermin were not enough, nine tenants of 87-40 165th St. in Jamaica, claim they deal with busted plumbing and broken elevators and ineffective heating on a daily basis, the Legal Aid Society detailed in a petition filed in Queens Housing Court.
The building was listed last year as having more city Housing Preservation and Development violations than any other apartment house in Queens. Hillside House was also ranked 42nd on Public Advocate Letitia James’s 2017 landlord watchlist.
Hillside his nevertheless “failed and/or refused to repair Petitioners ‘apartments or the public areas of the building,” court papers contend.
The management company has been “subjecting petitioners to acts of harassment, intimidation, and/or abuse intended to cause Petitioners to move out of their apartments or give up or waive their rights regarding their apartments and tenancies,” the Legal Aid filing alleges.
“The building is currently under new management, and management is working diligently along with the city to get repairs done.” a woman from Hillside House told the Daily News without further explanation.
There were 702 open HPD violations shortly before Legal Aid filed its suit on June 4. The agency’s records now show 467 violations.
One woman, who has lived in the 165th St. building for 20 years, said there have been some improvements in the past few weeks — but said they have been largely cosmetic and limited to common areas.
The 58-year-old woman, who pays $1,050 for a studio, told The News conditions used to be good until “the landlord just stopped taking care of it.”
“Oh my God, roaches,” she said. “There are roaches and mice.”
Because the woman is legally blind, she says moving isn’t an option, as her routine is associated with her apartment
“For me over here, I know where I’m going — it’s easier for me to travel around by myself,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. “That is part of the reason why I stay here — to make any changes, it puts a lot of pressure on me.”
Asked for comment, HPD said it “will do everything in its power to hold owners accountable. We will continue to closely monitor this property and take actions in the interest of tenant safety.”