East New York tenants fighting city's 'worst landlord'
Tenants in East New York are fighting back against the landlord deemed the city's worst by the public advocate's list.
The building at 650 New Jersey Ave. is owned by Michael Slochowsky, and has several open violations with the Department of Buildings. Issues cited in the building include exposed outlets, holes in the ceiling and an out-of-place stairwell bannister, among others.
The tenants' attorneys filed suit against the landlord to force repairs and to declare that the building is still rent-stabilized. The attorneys say Slochowsky overcharged tenants because he exploited a loophole to destabilize the rent.
"Tenants have been receiving a preferential rent of anywhere from $1,300 to $1,400," says Jim McCormick, of Legal Services New York. "Because they are no longer protected by the rent stabilization code, they can be revoked at any point, so... they could be hit with market rates rent of $2,700, $3,000."
News 12 spoke with Slochowsky, who says that the allegations are untrue and he does not want to comment any further.
If the tenants win the lawsuit, their landlord would have to repay them for rent overcharges.