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Tenants Seek City’s Help Against ‘Slumlord’; City Not Very Helpful: REPORT

1264 Lexington Avenue

Tenants of an Upper East Side building have been dealing with unresolved issues for years – according to an investigation and detailed report by Patch. These have included  a malfunctioning elevator, roach and rodent infestations, carbon monoxide and gas leaks, lack of heat and hot water, and structural issues like collapsed ceilings and holes in the stairs. After repeated complaints to the city, which the tenants say were ignored, some have decided to sue.

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The seven-story rental building at 1264 Lexington Avenue (on the corner of East 85th Street) is managed by The Moinian Group, one of the largest privately held real estate investment companies in the world. But tenants say that management is nothing more than “a slumlord,” according to Patch’s report.

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Tenants report a frequently out-of-order elevator that results in passengers getting stuck and fire department intervention. The building has reportedly had multiple gas leaks and even a carbon monoxide leak which led to the shutdown of the building’s boiler. Apartments and common areas are in disrepair, according to the report, with tenants detailing falling cabinets, collapsed ceilings, and holes in the stairwells that resulted in injuries. The report also notes that some of the apartments have been illegally subdivided, with more than one apartment using a single electrical box which is an electrical and fire hazard.

ALSO READ: NYC’s Worst Landlords Own These Upper East Side Buildings

Problems aren’t isolated to building maintenance. Some rental units have reportedly been illegally deregulated, including one unit where a tenant claims to have used her own money to make repairs (which the building then used as justification to increase her rent). Management is currently in the process of evicting multiple tenants, including a 93-year-old who’s lived at the building since 1967. Many have been withholding rent until necessary repairs are made, and some of them face eviction proceedings as well, the report details.

As of last June, the building had over 300 open violations with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. That’s when tenants filed a 7A action, which would require the city to appoint a third-party administrator to order repairs that would make the building habitable. The city apparently denied this request; the attorney representing the tenants, Leon Behar, says that “HPD specifically declined to support our 7A application.”

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Local officials—including Assembly Member Alex Bores and City Council Member Keith Powers—have supported the tenants in their 7A action. Powers says that “The numerous violations at 1264 Lexington Avenue deserve a quick and efficient response from management.”

In August, a Manhattan Supreme court judge ordered management to fix 165 of the violations within three months. However, at least 64 of those violations remain open and 45 more have been filed since the order. Tenants say they don’t want to leave their home, they just want management to make it livable.

Recently available apartments at 1264 Lexington Avenue have included a $3,200 one-bedroom and a $2,850 studio, per Streeteasy.


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  1. t-bo April 22, 2024
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