Landlord refuses to fix apartment filled with dangerous mold

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UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) -- When Maria Figueredo developed a rash on her face, neck and hands last month, her doctor concluded it was a reaction to mold and told her to move out of her apartment until the source of the mold was found.

Maria began looking all around her apartment on 75th Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, just above Citarella’s Market.  She’s been living there as a rent stabilized tenant for 30 years.

When Maria discovered paint bubbling on one wall and a wall in her closet badly discolored, she called her landlord, the 75th Realty Corporation. The building manager said she’d send a plumber.

Maria said she stayed home from work but the plumber never came. The manager said a plumber was sent but accused Maria of not letting the workmen into her apartment.

The manager said they would not sent any workers back unless Maria reimbursed the landlord $750. They demanded $250 for the cost of the plumber they insisted was sent, $250 for a contractor they also said came but was not let in, and $250 for the “cost of office staff going up to your apartment as a result of your frantic call.”

Maria refused to pay and instead hired her own mold remediation company. They discovered the exterior wall outside her apartment was in such bad shape, it was likely the source of water getting into the apartment. Their tests confirmed the presence of mold and more than just one type. They found paint bubbling on the walls and mold on a closet wall.

Maria called 311, an inspector was sent out and issued two violations to the 75th Street Realty Corporation, ordering them to deal with the mold situation. A contractor came to repair the exterior wall.

And after PIX11 got involved, the building owners said they would reimburse Maria for all her costs, including the $4,000 she paid the mold remediation company.

Maria has still not moved back into her apartment. She is waiting for all the mold to be removed from the walls and the source of the moisture to be fixed.

She has also hired an attorney to make sure the work is done properly.