Unkempt New York apartments concern tenants, landlord is absent

Home is commonly associated with comfort. If a person’s dwelling isn’t safe, it may be impossible for him or her to feel this way about their own home. In the context of rental properties, landlords play a major role in maintaining and securing the premises. This is a basic duty that property managers owe to their tenants.

According to reports, residents of an apartment complex in New York City have been putting up with substandard — and potentially dangerous — conditions for quite some time. Reports indicate that tenants’ apartments are full of mold and insects. Not only that, but there is not heat in the facility. Even though it’s well known that the furnace and leaking roofs need to be fixed, little to nothing has been done about it.

The Harlem complex, owned by the Abyssinian Development Corporation, has a history of problems. In fact, the current owners acquired the property with the hope of turning it around. Even with all of the problems, residents say that conditions now are better than under the previous owner.

According to the New York Daily News, the organization that owns the building is out of money. As a result, repairs simply aren’t being made. Of course, mold opens the door to a number of health concerns. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that tenants are fed up.

Pursuing compensation for negligent maintenance in a case like this could be complex. Not only is the apartment’s ownership in debt, but it is also a non-profit group. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that those who suffered an illness or injury as the result of the conditions in the apartment complex are without options in terms of premises liability.

Landlords have an obligation to meet the terms of a rental agreement. Tenants don’t deserve to be subjected to health concerns as the result of a failure to make necessary repairs.

Source: New York Daily News, “Tenants say living in Abyssinian Development Corporation building in Harlem is hell,” Jan Ransom, Oct. 22, 2013