Thank You National Apartment Association. I will do my best to get this very important information out ASAP to numerous owners, investors, huge property management companies (e.g., Riverstone Residential), attorneys, and judges, AND, of course, to the MANY people who are currently living in MOLD-INFESTED APARTMENT COMPLEXES right now! katy
“I know many other derelict landlords out there are paying attention to this and seeing that, ‘Look, we now have to take our responsibility seriously,'” says Bassey.”
by Ailsa Chang
NEW YORK, NY July 01, 2010 – A Bronx landlord continues to sit in jail for failing to make necessary repairs.
In an extremely rare move, the Bronx Housing Court last week ordered Sam Suzuki to be held behind bars until he corrects the nearly 700 open housing violations at his five-story building at 1585 E. 172nd Street.
The building had previously been owned by the Ocelot Capital Group, which bought and then abandoned 25 Bronx buildings. Ten of those buildings ended up on the city’s list of the 100 worst-maintained buildings, and the Village Voice earlier this year dubbed Suzuki one of the city’s “10 Worst Landlords.”
Tenants of the East 172nd Street building filed a lawsuit almost three years ago. The judge ruled that Suzuki was in civil contempt last week after ignoring requests for years to remedy rotten floors, rat and cockroach infestations, mold, broken windows, dead radiators, shedding lead paint and gaping holes in the ceilings.
“When it rains, tenants have to keep buckets under ceilings in different positions all over their apartment,” says Beatrice Hamza Bassey, the lawyer representing the tenants in the case, “and it’s really just a shower of water coming down.”
Bassey says at this point, the entire roof needs to be replaced. Many of the 50-some families in the building have spent winters without heat. Bassey says many of these tenants are on housing assistance and cannot afford to move elsewhere.
“It’s regrettable that it had to come to this,” says Bassey of Suzuki’s incarceration. “Mr. Suzuki had every chance to cure these violations. The judge, we — everyone — gave him every chance.”
Suzuki, who has been in jail since last Thursday, has appealed the court’s refusal to stay his incarceration.
“I know many other derelict landlords out there are paying attention to this and seeing that, ‘Look, we now have to take our responsibility seriously,'” says Bassey.
Suzuki’s lawyers did not return calls requesting comment.
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information about Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana allowing tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of toxins from molds by intentionally concealing evidence
Irrefutable evidence indicates that Riverstone Residential, Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, & plaintiffs’ attorney, J Arthur Smith III, must have agreed to exclude evidence that would have shown the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments & Riverstone Residential had knowledge of the severe MOLD INFESTATION at the complex before we moved in