Bronx tenants sue to unseat Stabilis as landlord

From left: 755 Jackson Avenue and 836 Faile Street
From left: 755 Jackson Avenue and 836 Faile Street

Residents of two dilapidated Bronx properties have filed suit against the private equity firm that owns the buildings in hopes of having someone new take control.

The two buildings, located at 755 Jackson Avenue and 836 Faile Street, are overrun with leaks, rotting walls, bedbugs and mice, according to the tenants. The conditions, they say, have only worsened since New York-based Stabilis Capital Management kicked off a buying spree of severely distressed residential properties here with the purchase of the buildings’ debt from Astoria Savings Bank in 2011.

With the aid of the Urban Homesteading Assistant Board and Bronx Legal Services, tenants of the two rundown buildings plan to take Stabilis to court in hopes of having them transferred to a more responsible developer, tenants and advocates told DNAinfo.

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The Faile Street property has stacked up 138 open housing violations, including bedbugs and a lack of smoke detectors, while the Jackson Avenue building has 213 violations that include lack of heat and hot water, according to records cited by DNAinfo. Both are on Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s list of the city’s worst apartment buildings.

A spokesperson for Stabilis told DNAinfo that it has plans to sell the buildings soon and denied negligence, saying the company has spent more than $90,000 on repairs at 755 Jackson Avenue.

A separate receiver was appointed temporary landlord at Faile Street after Stabilis purchased the building, and the spokesperson told DNAinfo that the company has advanced money to the receiver to operate it. Tenants, however, say this temporary landlord only collects rent and does not make repairs. [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland