MTA worker who beat COVID-19 entangled in new battle with landlord

Michael Brantley says he had a pleasant relationship with his landlord Madeline Martinez for the last four years, but now it has turned sour.

News 12 Staff

Jun 13, 2020, 2:44 AM

Updated 1,438 days ago

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An MTA worker from the Bronx who nearly lost his life to COVID-19 may soon be out on the street as he goes to battle with his landlord. 
Michael Brantley says he had a pleasant relationship with his landlord Madeline Martinez for the last four years, but now it has turned sour.
Brantley, who works as an MTA train operator, says he fell a month behind on his rent after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
"My landlord has been harassing me," says Brantley. "She is a slumlord. She has now used the fire department and police department against me."
Both the NYPD and FDNY have records of complaints from the landlord. Police tell News 12 Martinez filed a harassment complaint. Fire officials says they responded to a smoke complaint call on March 22 that was unfounded.
Brantley has also filed complaints. He called 311 when his landlord didn't fix problems inside the apartment. That call led to an inspection of the property by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
A source within the HPD tells News 12 the apartment is an illegal unit. The Department of Buildings lists the property as a single-family home and now plans to inspect the home for illegal conversions. 
Brantley, who is halfway through a two-year lease, was given a 90-day notice of termination.
"She presented me with her rent notice on the 19th and then two days later she said she is selling the house to force me out with a legal eviction," says Brantley.
Martinez's attorney declined to comment. 
Currently, the state has an eviction moratorium until Aug. 29, but Brantley is still afraid he will be forced out sooner.


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