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Landlord’s Hoarding Creates Health Problems for Tenants

Landlord’s Hoarding Creates Health Problems for Tenants
QNS.com reported that residents of an apartment complex in Glendale, Queens have complained of odors emanating from the unoccupied units as a result of their landlord's extreme hoarding.

An empty first-floor apartment was covered in waste and the basement has been packed with garbage and debris "from floor to ceiling," a resident told QNS.com, adding the vacant apartment next to her is infested with bugs. The infestation has since spread into her apartment, with bugs and fruit flies covering her bug mat and landing into a glass of juice she just poured herself.

According to records from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development, the apartment is currently not registered with the agency and that it has filed records with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal "at least one time from 1993 to the present year." Since Halloween 2017, there have been almost 30 violations, from no heat and hot water to infestations of bugs, rodents and flies, and accumulations of garbage.

Another resident who lives next door to the empty apartment also had fruit flies enter into his apartment. He told QNS.com that the hoarding has gotten so bad that it is starting to affect the health of his son, who is a diabetic and is on different medications. He said, if his health worsens, he may have to get a kidney operation. A third resident complained of seeing 50 rats around the piles of garbage accumulated one of the apartments. The HPD lists an open violation for that address for a "nuisance consisting of rodent droppings at building front."

The tenants have lodged their complaints to Community Board 5, New York State Assemblyman Mike Miller, the Fire Department, the Sanitation Department and the Building Department. Inspectors have visited the building but were unable to gain access to the basement because the landlord kept it locked. Many who live in the building said they will stop paying rent until the landlord takes care of these issues.

On March 1, a NYC Sanitation Enforcement Officer came to the building but said he can only examine the front of the building and the sidewalks. The officer suggested that they call the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.

A landlord is responsible for the upkeep of the property for the health and safety of their tenants. If you or a loved one have become physically ill as a result of a landlord's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation depending on the circumstances. 

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