Tenants organize against Brooklyn landlord

A community-based group is backing tenants in their fight against a landlord who they claim is trying to force them out by neglecting repairs.

The Pratt Area Community Council held a meeting Wednesday in Fort Greene for people living in Dermot Company properties. Longtime tenants in rent-stabilized apartments say the landlord makes repairs to vacant units to lure higher-paying tenants, but neglects their apartments.

"Basic repairs haven't been completed at all," says tenant Eric Walker. "They will answer phone calls, but you talk to a different person every time. They just kind of pass you around."

PACC has placed Dermot properties on Lafayette Avenue, Washington Avenue, Saint James Place and Lincoln Place on a watch list.

Renters plan to form a tenants' association and possibly take the owner to court if improvements aren't made.

Dermot Company says it inherited numerous housing code violations when it purchased the properties. Management says it's working to fix all problems.

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