Tenants of 118 East 4th St. are back in New York City Housing Court this morning in their continuing battle with landlord Jared Kushner.
They’re being backed up by MFY Legal Services and Cooper Square Committee. The residents say a gas outage has prevented them from cooking for nearly five months. They’ve also been without heat and say the building is in disarray. They’ve complained about garbage being strewn about and of a serious rat problem. A lawsuit was filed against Kushner in January. A press release from Cooper Square Committee included statements of support from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Brad Hoylman and City Council member Rosie Mendez.
Based on Jared Kushner’s current and past actions, I can only conclude that he is constructively evicting tenants from his buildings to deregulate rent stabilized apartments. Someone who owns as many buildings as he does should not have so many problems in addressing simple and/or complex repairs. The tenants of 118 East 4th Street have not had gas service for 5 months. Last year, tenants at 170-174 East 2nd Street didn’t have gas for over a year. I can only believe after all the problems at East 2nd Street that what is happening at East 4th Street is just a willful disregard for the tenants right to a safe and habitable apartment. So the question really is whether he can’t do repairs in a timely way or doesn’t want to. Based on all the work my office did with the East 2nd Street buildings, I believe that he doesn’t want to!
EV Grieve has some of the background on this building (located between 1st and 2nd Avenues):
It hasn’t been easy at 118-120 E. Fourth St. through the years. Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Management, in partnership with Meadow Partners, bought the buildings in late 2010. Fortune East LLC reportedly managed the buildings. The blog Occupy East Fourth Street had been documenting renovation horror stories. (Like this one.) Kushner bought the buildings during his East Village land grab in February 2013.