CROWN HEIGHS, Brooklyn — A group of Brooklyn tenants have been on rent strike for more than a year, saying their landlord refused to make necessary repairs. And just as they thought the strike was coming to an end, he sold the building.
The tenants told PIX11 News that they’re still waiting for answers.
One tenant, Vincia Barber, has lived in the building for three years, and said she’s been dealing with issue after issue, including roaches, mice and structural problems. Her complaints — and the complaints from other tenants in the building — seemed to fall on deaf ears, so they went on strike 19 months ago. They said they wouldn’t pay rent until the landlord made urgent repairs.
Jason Korn, the building’s owner, topped the city public advocate’s Worst Landlord List two years in a row. Incoming city councilmember Crystal Hudson said that list is a great way of “publicly shaming” unfit landlords in the city.
Hudson joined the tenants outside of their building Wednesday, where they rallied together hoping to find a solution.
Tenants of Korn’s building said they were close to sealing a deal in the spring — per the agreement, they would pay 25% of the rent owed if Korn made repairs. But as they waited for that deal to finalize, Korn sold the building.
According to tenants, the new owners sent them a bill for all of the past-due rent.
“The new landlord has not negotiated,” Barber said.
Additionally, tenants said the new owners have not shared plans to make the repairs. In a statement to PIX11 News, an attorney for Gilman Management denied those claims.
“The current owner has offered to immediately make all required remediations and separately discuss rent relief, but that offer has been rejected,” the statement said. “The tenants’ anger and mistrust are misdirected because of the problems they had with the prior owner.”