Tenants on strike wanting building repairs

August 10, 2008 3:42:22 PM PDT
No hot water, ceilings full of holes. Rats and more rats. Just a few of the problems plaguing tenants inside an Upper Manhattan apartment building. The tenants are fighting back, by not paying rent.

"I have never seen something like that in my life, a rat in this big in an apartment," said Gaudy Peralta.

The rats that travel in packs, roving inside 40 sherman avenue. Rats that keep Peralta and her family on edge.

"My daughter didn't even want to go to the bathroom because it would go from the kitchen to the bathroom," said Peralta.

Most if not all of the 46 apartments have something wrong with them.

Pealing lead paint, holes in the ceilings, rat droppings, for months tenants have had to cook on hot plates because the gas stoves do not work and have had to heat up their bath water in microwaves.

The owners, Wavecrest Management have been slapped with 531 code violations .

"Since Wavecrest Management took over this property in November of 2007, our voices have not been heard," said Tenant Association President, George Fernandez.

Fernandez's calls for help when the ceiling in his bathroom collapsed, when the water in the basement apartment he shares with his wife started leaking and never stopped.

"It's unbelievable, ridiculous , buckets on the floors to collect water 3 or 4 mops to collect three or four different liquids," adds Fernandez.

They say they took Wavecrest to court and a judge ordered the owners to make repairs. They say so far nothing and so now fed up, they're carrying out a rent strike until they get results.

The people living there hope hitting the owners in the pockets will force them to take action.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson

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