Thursday, May 28, 2015

Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened 'to drop dynamite on the building'

As we reported earlier today, residents who live at 444 E. 13th St. plan to sue their landlord for "deplorable conditions" as well as for ongoing threats and harassment.

The rent-regulated tenants, along with their legal counsel and City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, held a press conference outside the building between Avenue A and First Avenue this morning at 10 to speak out against landlord Goldmark Property Management and their associates.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared these photos from the press conference.

The residents said that they have haven't had gas for cooking or hot water since April 17 in the building that houses several children under the age of 7.

[Resident Patricia Ramirez]

Here's more from the Daily News:

They claim they've … endured racist taunts and threats to call immigration from the landlord's aggressive agents.

"They don't know the reality," said tenant Angel Salazar, 39. "Most of us are legal. That's why we are not afraid."

Tenants' lawyer Stephanie Rudolph said "this threat of retaliation and racial discrimination is egregious." She said only nine of the 18 units remain occupied — everybody else has been forced out.

[Stephanie Rudolph]

"There are tape recorded conversations where the landlord is threatening to drop dynamite on the building and then let everyone 'figure it out themselves,'" said Rudolph, a staff attorney at the Urban Justice Center.

There was no immediate response from Goldmark, whose agents include former NYPD Sgt. Miguel Cueto. The cop cost the city $2 million after he and his partner ran over and killed a Brooklyn man in their squad car three years ago.

[Rosie Mendez]

[Resident Cesar Bello with son, Ivan]

[Residents Lidia Puentes and Emma Gomez]

Said one longtime resident: "They are killing us. They don't have any feelings and they think everything's about money."

DNAinfo has more on the story here.


Anonymous said...

I am very proud of these people and their efforts to bring attention to the landlords and his goons illegal actions. Let's hope more building in the neighborhood suffering a similar ordeal organize, collect evidence and build a strong case as these people have.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Stephanie Rudolph! She and her colleagues have also been representing my building; they are truly amazing and indescribably committed to tenant rights and fair housing. Fingers crossed for these residents at E. 13th.
A resident from E 6th

Anonymous said...

What our neighbors do not realize is this greed is happening all over the neighborhood. I am currently being harassed, have had no hot water for 27 months, and live other serious problems. They overcharge us constantly and do not care for the building, refusing to fix anything, and then when you won't pay the extortion fees, they force you out for nonpayment of "rent". I hope these folks prevail. And I'm glad that their situation is getting some much-needed press. WHY IS EVERYTHING CONSTANTLY ABOUT GIVING THE BUILDING OWNERS MORE AND MORE MONEY?????????????????????? They treat our tenancy like a high-interest loan while the building crumbles away due to lack of care.

Garrett said...

The landlords are running amok with everything from harrassment to exorbitant rent increases on free market apartments & business leases. I've never seen anything like it in my 55 years. And no action from our Mayor, City Council or Albany. This can not continue. NYC needs to be granted powers from Albany to regulate all rents and business leases in the boroughs. Every working person I know and small business owner are walking around seeing a noose hanging in their future with their next lease renewal.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to them and bravo for their work. The assault on rent regulated tenants throughout NYC is absolutely disgusting. I am a tenant in an Icon building on West 11th Street. We have had no gas since July, 2014. We have had no elevator since summer of 2014 but that does seem to be soon about to change. All tenants remaining in the building are rent regulated and we have endured shocking neglect & abuse.

blue glass said...

the real estate section of today's ny post says it all
new housing goes for $3,500 for a 600 sq. ft. studio.
what elected official wants to give up the contributions from these landlords?
so the city blames the state, the state the city, years go by and nothing is done.
when it is too late some legislator will sponsor a bill that won't cover any of the housing (or stores) that are left in new york city.

Greg Masters said...

I fully support my neighbors at 444 E. 13 Street in their struggle for housing rights. And pleased to hear they are organized and fighting with the assistance of legal counsel and City Councilmember Rosie Mendez.

Anonymous said...

I too fully support our neighbors and their fight.

Why is there no enforcement? Does it explain anything to acknowledge that real estate owns this town? That may be true, but its not specific enough to make accusations.

Where are the in-depth investigative work on the overall power structures of NY city govt and real estate business. New York Times, where are you in your home town?