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Tenants Demand Repairs at Bronx Building Run by City's 'Worst Landlord'

By Eddie Small | September 20, 2016 5:19pm
 Tenants at 825 Gerard Ave. say they are living in deplorable conditions.
825 Gerard Ave.
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CONCOURSE — Tenants in one of the buildings run by the city's number one "worst landlord" say they are dealing with problems ranging from a rusty bathtub to a ceiling that is in danger of collapse — and that requests for repairs go unanswered.

"They just come and paint. That is all. They don’t do anything else," said Mohamed Gafur, who lives at 825 Gerard Ave. in the South Bronx. "No repairs. They just paint. That is all.”

Gafur said he has lived in the building since 2000 and has been dealing with issues at his apartment for years. These include a closet door frame and kitchen cabinet door that are both falling apart, cracks in his bedroom wall, spotty hot water and vermin like roaches, rats and flies.

The building Gerard Avenue is owned by Ved Parkash, who is currently ranked number one on Public Advocate Letitia James' list of the worst landlords in New York City.

His 11 buildings and 720 units have racked up 2,369 violations, according to the public Advocate. The building at 825 Gerard Ave. currently has 15 open violations with the Department of Buildings and 226 open violations with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Parkash purchased the building in 1989, according to city records. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Carmen Hernandez, who said she has been living in the building for decades, is currently dealing with a bathtub whose floor is marred by an enormous rust stain that prevents her from using it to actually take baths.

"The bathtub needs to be removed and put another one in there, but he won’t do it," she said. "He'll come and send somebody to spray it, but that's about it. That's as far as he goes. I’m getting an itch all over my body, and it has to do with that."

Hernandez has also been dealing with several wall cracks, including a large one running along the intersection of the wall and the ceiling that she says will eventually cause the ceiling to collapse.

She agreed with Gafur that Parkash's repairs are extremely superficial and questioned the credentials of people he brings to fix up apartments.

"I told him that I wanted a person that does this for a living," she said, "not just somebody from the street."

Although residents are not currently taking legal action against Parkash, it is a possibility going forward, according to the tenants' advocacy group Community Action for Safe Apartments.