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Re: My Scary Staircase

Posted by courtwatcher on July 31, 2001 at 23:32:05:

In Reply to: My Scary Staircase posted by Minty on July 31, 2001 at 18:09:36:

Re: the other responses regarding HPD / DOB inspectors not being able to get access / leaving notices -- you can also notify your local Fire Dept. of New York fire station about the staircase (the last thing that FDNY wants is for their people to get injured in a building due to bad maintenance / unsafe conditions). A violation from FDNY is a serious situation that an owner won't (shouldn't) ignore.
Be aware that DOB will consider an owner's "self-certification" that the owner has repaired the problem as "proof" that the vio has been "cured" (no physical proof required!!).
My experience has shown that FDNY isn't so lenient on these type of safety problems.
If the DOB / HPD / FDNY inspector does show, then get a copy of the complaint ON THAT DAY.
Also get the inspector's name & badge number. Then follow-up a week or so later with a call to the complaint bureau for a status report.
Keep documentation of everything.
Of course in a three unit bldg. chances are there will be little anonymity; but better safe than sorry.
And -- if the goons return then immediately call your local NYPD precinct, explain the situation and get to know an officer at your precinct on a first name basis -- just in case.
Harassment by an owner or the owner's agents (including goons) is illegal.
Good luck.

: (three unit residential building, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

: A while back I posted about my deteriorating staircase. This is a ramp-like set of stairs leading to the 3rd floor, in the hallway (they are not in the apartment). I am not an architect, so I don't know what kind of support they have underneath.

: Well, they haven't improved with age. Whenever I am carrying something heavy, they buckle, and I fear they will one day separate from the wall. I do not plan to renew my lease in a few months, but I do own both a stove and a sofa bad couch, both of which are very heavy. I would be sick if an accident happened...for instance, if a mover was carting the stove down each step with a handtruck, and the force caused the whole thing to collapse.

: I have called the management company several times about this, Their response is of course, "what's wrong with them?" When I explain, they reply, "but are they broken?" (So much for prevention.) I "offered" to have a city inspector visit, and this made the management guy nervous. He said HE would look at it. Well, this didn't even happen.

: I filed a complaint with the DOB, through the Central Complaint hotline, because I was told I had to file a complaint to get an inspector. Then, I made an appointment for a borough inspector, which is to happen next week. In the meantime, I suspect the Central Complaint people may have contacted my LL, since I received a message from my roommate that "two hostile Hasidim were looking for you today (Please no flames about this - as far as I'm concerned, my ex-Christian fundamentalist LL was just as hostile. It's a Williamsburg thing.)."

: Great.

: I'm really trying to do this by the book. I just want to know if I'm in any danger. Am I going about this in the right way?

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