No gas for months

What's Cooking? Nothing

Posted

Tenants at 500 W. 235th St. have been living without gas for months, and one local elected official blames the landlord. 

It all started last October when Elbridge Realty Corp., which manages the building for landlord A. Richard Parkoff, told tenants they would lose gas service while work was done on the lines. That work, according to the company’s buildings department permit, was to repair a leak in the seven-story, 87-unit building’s gas system.

But seven months later, the work by Advanced Plumbing, Mechanical and Sprinkler Corp., still is not done, leaving tenants to cope with life without gas. It has left tenants without access to their stoves among other services, all while they wait months for a service provided them by Elbridge in their rental agreement, according to a few tenants. 

One tenant, who asked to remain anonymous for fear they may face reprisal from their landlord or management company, said living without gas has been a tremendous hardship, especially since she can’t use her stove. 

“Six months ago, they just took off the gas. I don’t know what happened,” she said. “We have been cooking on a hot plate for six months now.”

The gas line work has gone on so long Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz stepped in last week demanding the work be completed. He blamed Elbridge for failing to pressure contractors to finish in a timely fashion.

“The landlord has not done what he needs to do to get the work done,” Dinowitz said. “He has been dragging his feet, and on at least two occasions, failed an inspection by the department of buildings.”

Eldridge, which did not respond to multiple requests for comment, twice sought a government inspection to turn the gas back on, city building officials said, failing both on March 31 and as recently as two weeks ago. 

The reason, Dinowitz said, was the gas lines were left exposed after work was completed, a major buildings department violation. 

“No one expects this stuff to get done overnight,” he said. “To me, that’s a hardship to have to go such a long period of time without gas.”

During a recent visit to 500 W. 235th, Press journalists were thrown out of the building by a woman who would not identify herself, but was later named by a tenant as the building’s manager. 

While there, however, it was clear work was nowhere near complete. Holes in walls and ceilings left gas piping exposed in the lobby and the ground floor hallway. 

While the buildings department was due for yet another visit May 16, workers were not on scene fixing these problems just the day before, The Press observed on a second visit.. 

Looking for answers

What can tenants do? Dinowitz seems to have simple answer: Demand lower rent. 

Because gas issues are building-wide, the assemblyman said, tenants at 500 W. 235th could file a joint complaint to the state housing department for what he called a diminution of services. 

A diminution effectively states that because a vital and previously agreed upon service is no longer being provided — in this case, gas — the tenants should be allowed to pay less rent each month.

“I feel for the tenants,” he said. “We are trying to help them as best as we can.”

But there is one slight problem that stops tenants from wanting to publicly voice complaints, Dinowitz said. Most of them have preferential rents, or rents that are lower than market rate. 

Landlords tend to opt for preferential rents if they have trouble filling the building at market rate, and choose to charge less money. But current law doesn’t prevent those same landlords from abruptly kicking those rates back up once a tenant tries to renew the lease. 

“He kind of has the tenants over a barrel,” Dinowitz said. “Any tenants that gives him a hard time, he can say, ‘OK, I’ll raise the rents to whatever I can raise the rent to.’”

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Democrap 4 life

I would expect nothing less from the Dingbat assemblyman from Riverdale saying " lower the rent"

This proves how much a moron the jerk really is

Jeffery did your parents ever have children not brain dead ?

First off knowing the dangers of gas piping and the time it takes to secure an architect to expedite the permits required can take months

Also NYC has had several code amendments regarding gas piping since placing a new code into effect.

When replacing piping in a wall there has to be an asbestos report, care must be taken not to expose tennents to plaster dust, an intergrity test has to be performed on each riser and the branch lines.

Only a moron plumber would dare do a self inspection with so many scum of the earth lawyers looking to sue for any reason they feel caused a health issue

to gain access to an apartment building risers cabinets have to be removed access to all the apartments can be a real challenge when tenants forget to leave keys in the office

Was it Dingbat that fought to pass a laws against single shot 50 caliber rifles that the last time they were used in a crime in NYC was around 1776 according to the British press

According to recent engineering publications the life expediency of building piping is 40 years

The old thread sealant on gas piping some have proven to become very brittle and cause small leaks that are difficult at best to locate.

If DINGBAT had a real job possibly in the piping trades ( he would never pass the apprenticeship) then possibly he would comprehend how much paper work and testing of gas piping can be.

We really do need term limits to get these morons out of office IMHO

Friday, May 19 | Report this
30 Years of Professional Property Management

Adding to the comments of my neighbor in "Democrap 4 life ". Dinowitz IS a jabroni but Parkoff is a definite strunzo and the only way to deal with him is with financial toughness. The tenants can file in Housing Court for a rent abatement and place their rent in their attorney's escrow account. Most of these people aren't accustomed to having to be nasty to get their way, but Parkoff cannot be allowed to trample on the tenants.He is a greedy, insane SOB.

Friday, May 19 | Report this
NYC contractor

I have to say "Democrap 4 life" was right on the money

As a NYC master plumber and a master fire suppression contractor I have found working with the newest changes in the plumbing codes to be a challenge to say the least

The older code 1968 was a pleasure to work with as everything needed was in one code book.

Building owners not able to charge enough to cover expenses then find they cannot maintain their investment. It is ironic how someone invests to build or buy a building and the building department, housing authority ,fire department all have regulations and then some politicians put a cap on how much the building owner can charge in rent

It cost a fortune to heat a building and maintain the heating system properly. The cost of water and sewer has increased dramatically as has real estate taxes and all buildings need to be maintained

I had an account in Manhattan 1650 3rd ave in the 1980's most of the apartments were being rented for over $1,200 a month except a few "rent controlled" that tenants paid less then $200 per month. how can a b building owner have porters, a superintendent, use licensed and insured contractors and told how much they can get back on their investment

We see the condition of most city housing developments and how many need upgrades but their is no funding available do to the low rents they receive

When I did new construction for the Stagg group including the apartment building where the old Riverdale press was Mark Stagg was already having reps meet with local officials to see about set aside apartments for lower income residents.

If landlords are willing to invest in NYC as we did on 44 Leight street some of the apartments went over 9 million each it actually brings more income to NYC then building no income housing units

Personally I like the idea of CO Ops or condos where people have to buy in as once someone owns they normally take much better care then someone who just rents

Regarding the local assemblyman what others have said are are just to kind as he is even worse then what others said about him

5 days ago | Report this