Q: I’m a senior who has lived quietly in my rent-stabilized Brooklyn residence for 22 years. For the previous three years, my residence has been infested with biting gnats. I’ve disposed of infested possessions — furnishings, rugs, clothes, bedding — however the bugs proceed to chew me all through the evening. My complaints to administration have gone unanswered. I paid an exterminator $200, to no avail. One other exterminator mentioned my landlord needed to make the request, not me. After I referred to as 311, a metropolis inspector visited my residence and contacted the owner, who reported that the issue was resolved. I challenged that, however the case was closed anyway. I opened a brand new criticism and have but to get an inspection. What can I do?
A: You shouldn’t must dwell with vermin, together with bugs. It’s your landlord’s accountability to resolve this drawback. So escalate the strain.
Preserve calling 311, and name usually. It’s potential your newest request was routed to the flawed metropolis company (this must be dealt with by the Division of Housing Preservation and Growth), otherwise you missed a name from an inspector.
“There isn’t a hurt in submitting a number of complaints,” mentioned William Fowler, an HPD spokesman. “All of that helps construct a paper path and will increase strain on the proprietor to resolve the difficulty.”
For the reason that bugs are biting you in your sleep, request an inspection for bedbugs as nicely, because it’s potential you’ve gotten a couple of infestation and chances are you’ll want a couple of kind of inspection.
Whereas your 311 calls work their means by the system, you’ll be able to file what is called an HP continuing in housing courtroom. This can carry your criticism earlier than a decide, who can order the owner to appropriate the issue. You don’t want a lawyer to file a housing courtroom case.
“Now the owner has to face in entrance a decide,” mentioned Samuel J. Himmelstein, a Manhattan lawyer who represents tenants. “It’s not possible that they declare the issue has been resolved in the event that they haven’t achieved it. Then they’d be committing perjury; they could possibly be held in contempt.”
Name your group board and your native Metropolis Council member’s workplace, and ask them to advocate for you. On June 6, HPD is internet hosting a coaching program on Zoom the place residents can learn to take care of pests and vermin. You possibly can join it on-line. It’d present some helpful info.
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