NYCHA landlord owed money

Seven On Your Side
September 2, 2011 7:48:29 PM PDT
When a tenant complained, a landlord did all the right things to fix the problems in the apartment.

But the New York City Housing Authority still won't pay him the money he was owed.

"The landlord opened it and stick some poison up there," said Carmen Smith, tenant.

After tenant Carmen Smith complained about mouse droppings in her brand new 2nd floor apartment, her landlord, Sunday Odubuiy, who lives downstairs, hired a pest service company to exterminate right away.

"I gave her traps, seven traps," Odubuiy said.

The New York City Housing Authority, NYCHA, pays most of Carmen's rent directly to the landlord.

But Sunday's subsidy was cut off until he fixed the rodent problem, and repaired a broken thermostat and carbon monoxide detector.

"So you did all the things and your tenant signed off on it," said Nina Pineda, of 7 On Your Side.

"Everything," Odubuiy said.

"You did the carbon monoxide?" Pineda asked.

"Everything," Odubuiy said.

"You did the thermostat?" Pineda asked.

"Everything," Odubuiy said.

"You did the mice?" Pineda asked.

"Everything," Odubuiy replied.

Last January he mailed the forms proving the tenant was satisfied.

But the next month, his subsidy, $1,900 a month, never arrived.

NYCHA said they received no proof the repairs were finished.

The landlord has a certified mail receipt to show that they received it on the 5th.

He called and re-mailed the forms three times.

They were all signed for by NYCHA.

He even walked the forms down to NYCHA offices to be notarized but three months would pass and he still couldn't get paid.

"So they owe you more than $3,500," Pineda said.

"Around $3,500, yeah," Odubuiy said.

With three growing boys to feed and his wife out of work from auto accident, the Odubuiy's couldn't make ends meet.

We have to speak to family and friends from my tribe in New York and we borrowed some cash from them and we are still owing them," Odubuiy said.

It's an embarrassing position for the hardworking father, so he called 7 On Your Side and we worked NYCHA to track down the problem.

It took a few weeks to investigate, but then things took a turn for the better.

"This is one of the happiest days of my life!" Odubuiy said.

It was finally payday for Sunday!

He'll get his $3,000, three months of subsides, in a lump sum.

"I'm so happy 7 On Your Side got involved because if you're not involved it will still be the same old story," Odubuiy said.

NYCHA told the landlord a computer processing error led to the mistake, which delayed his payment.

The department apologized for the holdup.