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Westminster Cares? Tenants of Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Say Not So Much

One of Jared Kushner's buildings, 118 East 4th Street, where tenants have taken legal action against their landlord (Photo courtesy of Streeteasy)

One of Jared Kushner’s buildings, 118 East 4th Street, where tenants have taken legal action against their landlord (Photo courtesy of Streeteasy)

After months of pleading with Westminster City Living to restore cooking gas and address a litany of repairs in her aging East Village tenement building, Jennifer Hengen and other members of the 118 East 4th Street tenant association had reached their breaking point. “It was like waiting for Godot,” she recalled.

Not only had the building’s real-estate management company, headed by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, neglected to fix problems in her building, and many more across the neighborhood, but tenants felt as if the problems didn’t really matter to management. “We’re invisible to them because we’re not millionaires,” she said. “I just don’t think we’re taken very seriously– number one, because we’re not in one of the big, shiny buildings and, number two, because we are rent-stabilized.”

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A.G. Files Harassment Charges Against Manager of LES and Chinatown Apartments

(Image: Wikipedia)

(Image: Wikipedia)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit today against the property manager and landlords of several apartment buildings in Chinatown and the Lower East Side for allegedly harassing rent-controlled tenants with “repeated illegal and deceptive practices.”  The complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court, accuses the buildings’ owners and Marolda Properties Inc., which manages the buildings, of attempting to bully tenants into vacating rent-regulated units using a variety of improper tactics.

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East Village Tenants Say ‘Enough Is Enough’ to Alleged Predatory Landlord

Karen Platt's East Village building, 522 East 5th Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Karen Platt’s East Village building, 522 East 5th Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Karen Platt has been channeling her frustrations through the satisfying scrape of chalk across concrete. After years of living with dust, noise, and health hazards caused by construction, repeated and seemingly relentless service cut-offs, and what she says are intentional moves by her landlord to clear her (and other rent-regulated tenants like her) out of her longtime home at 522 East 5th Street in the East Village, Platt’s sidewalk messages reveal she has reached a breaking point: “Lack of services is harassment” and “Enough is Enough.”

As Platt explained to B+B, since Icon Realty Management bought her building, things took a turn for the miserable. “I’ve lived in New York my whole life and I’ve never, ever been treated like this,” she said.

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In Williamsburg, Tenants Told to Clear Out For Demolition Dig In and Demand Repairs

Jesenia and her daughter outside their apartment building. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Jesenia and her daughter outside their apartment building. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

The two-bedroom apartment that Jesenia Ventura shares with her three young children, her sister, and her mother Amalia Martinez is so run-down that some windows will stay open only long enough to smash fingers, while others are stuck open even in winter. Frames of doors are ripped off, floor tiles are pulled up, and there is no running water in the bathroom sink, Jesenia says. There is green and black mold, drooping ceilings and a floor that is so warped that Jesenia’s son once tripped and cut his forehead. Jesenia worries that if she takes her kids to daycare, she’ll be reported to Child Protective Services. She says they regularly wake up in the middle of the night itching from painful-looking bedbug bites, and cockroaches crawl across their beds.

The conditions at 501-505 Grand Street, in Williamsburg, are so poor that in the summer of 2014, Amalia, Jesenia and four others organized a tenant association and filed official complaints to NYC Housing Preservation and Development. They hoped to persuade the building’s new owners, Manny and Eden Ashourzadeh of 501 EMR LLC, to make critical repairs. Keep Reading »

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Can This App Keep Your Landlord From Freezing You Out of Your Apartment?

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Mayor de Blasio announced today that his Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force has made its first arrest, of a landlord who, among other things, stands accused of illegally depriving rent-regulated tenants of heat even as temperatures were below freezing. The indictment of Daniel Melamed for allegedly endangering the welfare of his tenants during winter renovations of his Crown Heights building “sends a clear signal to any unscrupulous landlords that they will be next,” De Blasio said. “And we’ll spare no effort in going out – going after those who are forcing New Yorkers out of their homes illegally.”

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‘We Won’t Move’ Exhibit Recalls — and Spurs — Tenant Activism

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Can’t get your landlord to fix your sink? Is there a nebulous blob of black mold festering on your bedroom ceiling? Well maybe you and your roommates can pick up some hot tips on how to stick it to your slumlord from a new exhibition at Interference Archive which focuses on collective action organized by tenants in a city that often seems to choose development over preservation. “We Won’t Move: Tenants Organize in New York City” opens tonight (7-10 pm) at the Gowanus archive and event space dedicated to social movements, labor history, and activism.

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Tenants to Landlord of 210 Rivington: Get the Lead Out

(Photo: Ilyse Liffreing)

Council Member Rosie Mendez is blocking the landlord’s representative from filming the tenants. (Photo: Ilyse Liffreing)

Tenants of a Lower East Side apartment building are not happy. Construction has subjected them to constant headaches, including hazardous levels of lead, representatives of the 210 Rivington Street Tenants Association said at a rally outside of the building today.
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