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Cracked walls and falling ceilings lead tenants to file suit against landlord

Apartment

Apartment

June 11, By Michael Florio

Rats, roaches and collapsing ceilings are just some of the issues tenants of a Corona apartment building claim they are being forced to deal with.

Tenants of The George Washington, located at 96-10 37th Ave, gathered yesterday with an attorney from Community Development Project Urban Justice Center to announce that they have just filed a lawsuit against their landlord, Benedict Realty Group (BRG).

Fifty-seven of the 76 households who live in the building have filed a class-action lawsuit against the landlord, claiming that they have had to deal with untreated rat and cockroach infestation; no heat and hot water; hazardous mold; exposed electrical wires; cracks in the walls and floors; and collapsing ceilings, according to Keriann Pauls, the attorney representing the tenants.

Daniel Benedict, president of BRG, was surprised by the suit. He said that the company has never faced a lawsuit like this and that he takes pride in the way it maintains its buildings.

Benedict said BRG has spent more than $600,000 on the building in the past 18 months, installing new elevators, new front doors, a new compactor and chute and upgraded electrical systems.

“Further, we have an online work order submission system and we have not received any formal complaints related to the matters you address,” Benedict said.

“When we were recently notified that one tenant complained to HPD last week of a hole in their apartment, appropriate arrangements were made to repair it,” he added.

However, the tenants say the quality of the building has deteriorated in the past three years, since BRG took ownership.

Pauls said that the building has more than 100 city code violations.

Jose Mencia, who has lived in the building since 1964, claims the landlord wants to get rid of the tenants in the rent-stabilized units, and by offering substandard conditions it will force them out.

“Once anyone moves, they remodel the entire apartment so they can jack up the rent,” he said. “They want to de-regulate the entire building.”

The case was filed earlier this week, and it is now up to the judge to see how the matter should be resolved.

Pauls said that she is hoping that the case will not drag on, so the repairs are made.

“Some residents may see results quicker than others, depending on the issues that need to be resolved,” she said.

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6 Comments

Anonymous

I agree with the input here. These people are all about the big bucks and don’t care about their tenants or safety. The management just doesn’t care. The “B” in BRG is [email protected] though he will probably ignore you too. 516-498-9100 Do not move into one of their properties!!! You will regret it!!!!

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daniel mallory

Their online work order submission system is a joke. They never answer calls or email.

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anonymous

The building on East 22nd went up in flames last week. None of the fire detectors or alarms went off. The super could not care less what happens to the tenants nor Mr. Benedict. Avoid BRG at all cost.

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Michelle

I live in a rent stabilized apartment for 38 years. Since BRG took over in March they have started two baseless holdover proceedings in court to evict me and are not doing necessary repairs. They are harassing me and another rent stabilized tenant repeatedly.

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Fisherman

You should talk to residents at the East 22nd complex. They harass us too. These folks are like slumlords.

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flutiefan

This is exactly what’s happening in my building managed by BRG! Their “online work order submission system” is a joke. It requires you to have a PIN — which nobody seems to have or know! That’s literally their only contact information — a website you must have a password to get on.
How can I get any help?

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