Saturday, March 24, 2007
Three of Sonia Santos' tenants at 341 5th Avenue have gotten together and hired a lawyer. It is cheaper for everyone that way, to bring the building case to housing court. They are on rent strike and are paying their rent into an escrow account. They just had thier second court date, and both times it has gone very well for them. It is a slow process, but the conditions are so horrible that the case is very clear. If Sonia Santos doesn't change her tune, the city is going to penalize her through fines and possibly even jail time, and then have a hearing to take the management of the building away from her and turn it over to the city.
If you are a tenant of hers, document everything! Buy a newspaper and take photos of everything that is wrong with your apartment and your building with the newspaper for that day in the picture. Keep copies of any notices you get from ConEd or other utility companies about unpaid bills for the building or shut-off notices. Put a calender on your fridge and mark down every day you don't have heat or hot water. Call 311, not just once, but everyday that there is a problem. Give them your name and phone number, so that they can reach you if they need to. Don't be afraid! Sonia will send people to harrass you and maybe even threaten you. Ignore it and call the police--you have rights! If anyone from 451 State Sreet or 341 5th Avenue, current or former residents, wants to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to exchange information, please do. I'll try to get people connected and help in anyway I can.
Bad Landlord: Sonia Santos
Brooklyn [New York]
No sooner had we dubbed yesterday's Rhode Island story "the longest email in our history" than we received this epic saga of slumlordry in Brooklyn. As is always the case when people email us stories, we have no first-hand knowledge of the events recounted below. Please use the message board to corroborate or refute as you please.
Tenants at 451 STATE STREET BROOKLYN NY 11217 are being abused. Their landlord SONIA SANTOS has engaged in a very serious pattern of harassment and threats. Every step they try to take proves futile. Please assist where
1) 451 State Street Brooklyn NY 11217 is located in Boerum Hill and is a rent controlled building.
2) Tenants are continously threatened, harassed, and defamed by Sonia Santos. Disabled tenants have been threatened by Sonia Santos that she will tell everyone they are crazy. Gay tenants have been called "f******" and black tenants have been called "n******". In front of young children on the sidewalk Sonia Santos told a tenant "you probably want to eat my p****".
3) Sonia Santos threatens to break into people's apartments if they report her to 311 or attempt to take any actions.
4) A dog is being kept locked up in our basement 24/7 by Sonia Santos. Officer Robert Clark of the ASCPA has investigated this matter and found the dog living with no light, never being taken out, and living in his own urine and feces. The dog cries all night long and keeps tenants up at night. Sonia Santos has admitted ownership of an animal that is being treated cruely. No action has been taken. CONTACT INFO for New York ASPCA 212-876-7700
5) To drive out lower paying tenants from the building, Sonia Santos engaged in years of harassment against the family of George and Josie Staples, 20 year tenants of 451 State Street and all around nice people. She was finally able to remove them through New York Supreme Court NO. 2002-971 K C, stating that she as an owner needed to occupy the apartment. The Staples were evicted because of this reason in August 2005. Sonia Santos has yet to occupy this apartment.
6) Sonia Santos has failed to provide smoke detectors to the building. Unlicensed illegal workers routinely work on the building and we have legitimate concerns the building could catch fire. Numerous violations have been issued against Sonia Santos.
7) Heat and hot water are denied during the winter intentionally. During these times the temperature may drop as low as 35 degrees F inside the apartments. Sonia Santos will fail to answer her phone or respond to dire messages. The lapses in heat and hot water happened all winter long, for as long as 10 days.
8) The building plumbing is falling apart and water leaks break through the ceilings on a regular basement and destroy people's possessions. Sonia Santos will allow the leaks to persist for as many as 5 days before addressing the issues.
9) Sonia Santos uses legal action to intimidate and harass people. She is actively involved in court cases against a few of the tenants and has threatened virtually all of them. This building is filled with very nice people who are struggling to improve the conditions being imposed on them. The tenants get along very well and have never had altercations between them.
10) All communications between the City of New York and Sonia Santos are avoided. She dodges phone calls and fails to collect her mail. There are usually over 20 envelopes waiting for her in the basement. Sonia Santos fails to appear in court when ordered.
11) Sonia Santos has attempted to frame tenants of the building, especially tenants she has dragged into court. In response to building problems she has called 911 and told police officers that tenants are trying to sabotage the building to seek revenge, and that the police must break down their doors so she can have access.
12) Bill collectors and other unpaid contractors hound tenants on account of the actions of Sonia Santos.
13) Sonia Santos is possibly in violation of rent control regulations and are being over-charged. Tenants have approached HPD but are having a hard time investigating.
1) Sonia Santos should be stripped of her rights to own property and care for tenants.
2) The City of New York should launch an investigation into the actions of Sonia Santos.
3) Local police should increase patrol of this property when possible.
4) ASPCA should continue investigations into animal cruelty.
5) The Health Department should continue their investigations into this building.
6) Tenants rights are being violated and the City of New York bears a responsibility to protect them.
originally posted on Trembicky.com
Friday, March 23, 2007
UPDATE - The Drama Cafe has been closed by the Department of Health since 4/11/2007.
Click here to view the inspection report on the Department of Health's Website.