The Real Deal New York

New heating unit leaves Bed-Stuy building residents shivering

January 24, 2014 05:16PM

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305 Decatur Street

305 Decatur Street

The slapdash heating system in a Secton 8 building in Bedford-Stuyvesant isn’t cutting it — nor are management’s lackluster promises of repair.

Baseboard heating came to the 32-unit 305 Decatur Street in late 2013, despite resident complaints of being without warmth for years. The building’s management company, Shinda Management Corp., then claimed to have fixed the issue — but temperatures have plunged both inside and out in recent days.

“We’re freezing,” Collette Wright, a resident of the building, told DNAinfo. “This baseboard heating is not working out.”

There are no signs that Shinda is working to repair the heat, residents told DNAinfo. The superintendent made the rounds on Thursday and taped up window cracks, but made no further mention of when or whether the heat would be addressed.

DNAinfo’s calls to Shinda’s offices were not returned.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development reportedly indicated that the heat was to be fixed back in 2008, according to a letter that discussed a loan program to aid Shinda in making a number of property repairs. Among the intended jobs, according to the letter, was the replacement of boilers at 305 Decatur Street.

The building’s owner, Kingston Heights Apartments L.P., purchased the five-story building for $8.7 million in 2007, according to city records.

So far this winter, the number of heating complaints in New York City has doubled from the previous year[DNAinfo] Julie Strickland

  • Check the Heating Bills

    If this is Section 8, they need to verify inside each complainant’s apartment that the windows are closed and the radiators are actually turned on otherwise this could be a ploy to avoid rent obligations. Talk to Section 8 landlords and you will get an earful of nightmare stories. The program is not a great way to guarantee steady rent payments.

    I think the inspectors who respond to heating complaints should commit to spending at least four hours in the subject building and have more than one inspector on the visit because the tenants absolutely will collude by turning off their radiators simultaneously and opening the windows and hiding that the windows are open to lower the temperature of the apartment. Why would they do this to themselves when they are opening the door to their drafty apartments in short sleeves and looking rosier than ever?

    You need simultaneous access to multiple apartments and you have to insist that they allow you inside and that they provide access to the radiators and to the windows some of which may be difficult to close because the tenant refuses to clean her windows and has accumulated a great deal of debris on the frame.

    • Victoria

      Yes. The laws almost always side with the tenants making owning in a liberal state far too risky.

  • JohnetteMetzgar
  • Valerie

    Before hiring XL, my building super told me the thermostats were broken and all 3 needed to be replaced. Upon hiring XL, Dylan was able to fix the problem by re-programming the thermostats. If you are looking for a property manager, XL Real Property Management is a must.

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