Tenants still hard at work to get their homes back, expose landlord for alleged building sabotage

The mayor’s Office of Special Investigations was tipped off by tenants that the landlord was operating Air BnB’s in the building.

Heather Fordham and Adolfo Carrion

Sep 1, 2023, 2:20 AM

Updated 262 days ago

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Two weeks ago, News 12 reported on residents forced to vacate their homes in a Mott Haven apartment building amid claims their landlord purposely sabotaged the building.  
A vacate order was slapped onto the front door of 220 East 134th St. in Mott Haven, when tenants were given less than 24 hours to leave. On Aug. 17, residents told News 12 that their landlord purposefully stripped the building of its basic necessities in order to evict them unlawfully.  
"I'm homeless, I got two kids,” said resident Paul Fearon. “Just to pull off the electric, to turn off the gas, and to damage the fire sprinkler system, really meant he didn't care about our lives at all.” 
Several tenants decided to take legal action and file tenant harassment cases against the landlord, listed as Five Boro Storage Inc. News 12 reached out to the company and did not receive a comment in response.  
The mayor’s Office of Special Investigations was tipped off by tenants that the landlord was operating Air BnB’s in the building, and the office shared the listings with News 12, stating that they are illegal because the building is registered as a commercial warehouse.  
Investigators say they were turned away repeatedly when trying to investigate the building, but that they eventually got inside – only to be met with unsafe conditions.  
Tenants say they still don’t know when they’ll be allowed back in their homes, but in the meantime say they’re working to raise money for temporary housing, as well as legal fees.  


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