Why tenants of Chelsea building have had to live with no hot water for a month

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- A cold shower after a hot date is one thing, but five weeks of cold showers has tenants in one Chelsea apartment building boiling over.

"We haven't had hot water, so we have been using our gym memberships, going to friend's houses, we've been living quite nomadically," says Jordan Katz.

So, let's rewind. On April 1st, the Fillmore Restaurant on the first floor of the building at 463 West 19th Street caught fire, forcing the utility company to shut down the gas line leading to both the business and the apartments above.

Royal Rock Realty, the management company, had to draw up repair and replacement plans. Con Edison then inspected and approved the work on April 22nd. Tenants are angry because they say they have not heard much from the property manager.

"Why would you leave us in the dark, considering that A, there was a fire downstairs, B, you're in breach of contract, and C, you're breaking the law. It's absolutely ridiculous," Katz added.

The property manager offered tenants temporary gym memberships so they can shower until the problem was fixed- problem is tenants say that solution was presented to them after weeks of suffering without hot water.

"I think it's really unprofessional. If you think about it, how would they feel if this were happening to them? They would not be very happy," says Rachel Crittenden.

The city's Housing and Preservation Department is looking into the matter, confirming violations against the property several times for the lack of hot water.

Tenants say as soon as they withheld their rent payments on the first of May, they started getting promises that the problems would be fixed.

Eyewitness News reached out to the property management company, but have not heard back yet.
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