Brooklyn landlord with over 500 violations taken to court by tenants living in hazardous conditions

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Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Landlord with 500+ violations taken to court by tenants
A group of Brooklyn tenants is demanding the city take action against their landlord who they say has neglected the building for over four years.

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A group of Brooklyn tenants is demanding the city take action against their landlord who they say has neglected the building for over four years.

Tenants of 1111 Ocean Avenue in Flatbush have flipped an eviction lawsuit against Jancie Broadie, one of the tenant association leaders, into a tool to force him to finally make repairs.

Landlord Sam Wasserman requested to see a judge on Tuesday, but the court appearance was adjourned when he didn't show up.

Waserman sent an email to tenants saying he wouldn't be able to make the requested court appearance because of Passover.

You don't even have to step one foot into the building to know it has a host of problems.

From the outside rusty scaffolding with rotten loose planks of wood holding down the metal sheeting, rats living by the front entrance, and what looks like a break-in at the boiler room.

Hard to believe until the late 80s this was once a luxury building.

"When I moved in we had doormen, handymen, porters, we had laundry rooms on each side of the building," tenant Rita Kettrles said.

Tenants said that all changed with new ownership.

Wasserman has over 500 violations with 145 active violations, according to the Department of Building's website.

At least 12 of those violations include 'rent impairing violations.' If not corrected within 6 months tenants don't owe rent for the time the violation is on record.

Some of the class 1 hazardous violations have been open since June 2020.

On top of the outstanding violations, half of the building hasn't had gas since March but tenants say that's the least of their worries.

Instead of building staff, they live with rats, mold, and collapsed ceilings.

"This is my neighbor down the hall on the 6th floor," tenant Andrew Butler said. "And in the middle of the night, 2 a.m. back in October the ceiling in their daughters' bedroom collapsed. They have two little girls."

And because of crumbling infrastructure, tenants with terraces can't use them.

"This is what I came home to," Kettrles said gesturing to a makeshift barrier in front of the door to her terrace installed several months ago. "I had no idea who put it up, why it was there, and how long it was gonna be there. I have eleven windows and I can't see out of any of them because of the scaffolding."

Scaffolding that's been there for eight years.

Kettrles and Butler are two tenants out of a handful who have been on a rent strike for over two years.

In the meantime, what was a million-dollar view of lower Manhattan from the roof, now has a deteriorating chimney serving as the center of attention.

"You can really see when you're up here, up close is how bad the facade of the building is and the brickwork," Butler said. "You can see these cracks. Running all the way down the side of the building."

Eyewitness News reached out to Wasserman for comment but has not heard back.

A spokesperson for HPD said they have active litigation in the building o get violations corrected.

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