Red Hook residents outraged at unsafe conditions ignored by building landlord

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RED HOOK, N.Y. (PIX11)-- At 14 Verona in Red Hook, when it rains it pours...inside.

For years, residents say they've put up with just about every problem a renter could imagine.

"There are no handi-cap ramps," said resident Michael Eckblad.  "There's no elevator that is designed for residential use.  There's no roof access.  We're paying to heat the hallways.  There's no proper fireproofing over all of the gas lines.  There's water leaking all over the place.  Do you want me to keep going?"

When they tried to contact the landlord, "He said if you don't like it, well you can move out," said Ann Neuman.

So after the landlord tried to raise rents on those who raised concerns, many of the tenants banded together to investigate the landlords history.

"It was pure joy to find out there were other people in this building who were suffering as well," said Neumann

When the tenants pulled the blueprints that allowed the landlords to get their certificate of occupancy they found some disturbing information about the architect who signed off on those plans.

"The architect that signed our plans is the same architect who signed plans for a building that collapsed during construction killing a worker and after that event that architect forfeited their rights to self certify moving forward," said Eckblad.

Even before the accident Assemblyman James Brennan called for a review of all projects by architect Henry Radusky and his firm Bricolage Designs citing a "rubber stamp" policy at the Department of Buildings for allegedly illegal plans.

As for the landlord, tenants say they make their checks payable to NOAM Coroporation: a management company whose chairman, Solomon Gottlieb, has been found on the Public Advocate's "Worst Landlord List".

Gottlieb did not return our calls for comment.

"The landlord did not only less than they were required to do to rent the building, but also made active efforts to hide the fact that that work wasn't done," said Eckblad

The DOB is now investigating and tenants say they want everyone involved held accountable.

But more importantly, they say they want to know their homes are safe.

"I want to assume that's the contract between a landlord and a tenant.  And in this building it's been being violated for 15 years," said resident Rachel Foullon.