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Tenants of 825 Gerard Avenue gave the press a walkthrough of apartments with poor living conditions Monday, September 19

Tenants demand NYC’s ‘worst landlord’ make repairs

Bronx Times
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Grand Concourse tenants are demanding ‘NYC’s worst landlord’ repair their neglected apartments.

Tenants of 825 Gerard Avenue want the building’s landlord, Ved Parkash, to make repairs at the six-story, 84-unit residence.

On Monday, September 19, New Settlement Apartments’ Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) and tenants hosted a walkthrough of defective apartments.

Tenants live with cracked ceilings and walls, pervasive water leaks and mold, collapsing ceilings, incomplete repair work and broken appliances.

A CASA spokesman confirmed no legal action is being taken against Parkash.

Mohammed Gasur, a 16-year tenant, lives with cracked walls, a dislocated window frame and a detached closet door frame.

Carmen Hernandez, a 45-year tenant, lives with wooden slats securing her back room’s collapsing ceiling, a damaged laminate tile floor, cracked walls, a rust stained bathtub, a bathroom wall missing tiles and bathroom mold.

She said the collapsing ceiling has rendered her back room ‘uninhabita­ble’.

“It’s upsetting when you’re working so hard to pay rent and the whole building is a mess,” said Marta Melendez, tenant leader and 43-year tenant.

She said her kitchen repairs were left unfinished after Parkash alledgedly halted the work.

Tenants claimed Parkash does not hire professional workers and they only complete the easier tasks.

They added Parkash installed security cameras in the hallways, but only a few function.

Hernandez said the intercom has been broken for years and garbage litters the hallways and elevator.

Tenants and CASA allege Parkash “is uninterested in discussing living conditions with tenants” despite telling them to call him instead of 311.

Tenants claimed their calls to Parkash’s office often go unanswered.

“He’s not a good landlord because he tries to cut corners on everything,” expressed Hernandez.

NYC Housing Preservation and Development said as of Wednesday, September 28 there are 182 open housing code violations at 825 Gerard Avenue with 44 Class A non-hazardous violations, 106 Class B hazardous violations and 32 Class C immediately hazardous violations.

The violations were reduced from 219 open violations.

A Parkash spokesman and tenants said 825 Gerard Avenue’s damages resulted from construction of a 17-story, 134-unit mixed-income residential and commercial high rise at 810 River Avenue located directly behind the property.

As previously reported, Parkash was ranked ‘number one’ on NYC Public Advocate Letitia James’ ‘100 Worst Landlords in New York City’ last November for accumulating 2,369 violations in 11 of his 43 buildings. Parkash owns approximately 40 buildings in the Bronx.

The problematic properties include 2675 Creston Avenue, 2125 Cruger Avenue, 2487 Davidson Avenue, 180 E. 163rd Street, 58 E. 190th Street, 751 Gerard Avenue, 815 Gerard Avenue, 750 Grand Concourse, 2820 Sedgwick Avenue, 1530 Sheridan Avenue, 2454 Tiebout Avenue and 835 Walton Avenue.

In July, Parkash met with over 120 tenants from 15 Parkash-owned buildings and publicly agreed to make repairs and address their living conditions.

The Parkash spokesman confirmed repairs are underway at 825 Gerard Avenue.

Updated 5:06 pm, July 9, 2018
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