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Asbestos Removal

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Asbestos Removal

Postby claire78 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:55 am

UES brownstone, RS Apt tenant since 1990. Owner died 2013, since then 3 owners, 4 managing agents past 7 years, DHCR Multiple ongoing cases since 2015 to reinstate rent by owners, each time denied. No upkeep at all, frequently no heat.

Only 2 tenants since 2013, vacant apartments never rented. Since 1/2020 new owner, I am the last tenant, the other one was bought out. Now 5 vacant apartments plus doctors office.

I had several offers, not appropriate if I want to stay in nyc and also there is no protection from huge annual rent increases.

In the building No security, no cameras. The owner put up a sign about asbestos removal in the apartment bellow mine. My attorney contacted the co listed as contact to get more information about protection in the building and my apartment. Response? He was banned by the owner to give out any info.

Question?
Clearly this is an attempt to make my living more miserable. Out of the 6 places only the 1 bellow has asbestos? Does the LL have any responsibility to provide information about removing a dangerous substance like asbestos to the tenant in addition to the posted sign? There is no elevator only a very narrow stairwell. Add to this the pandemic, no way to keep 6 feet should I be halfway in the stairwell and be confronted by someone... how should I know who is allowed to be in the building and who is an impostor since there is no security? What about noise? As many people I work from home now.

I am not going anywhere, but I have a hard time believing a tenant can be kept in the dark about specifics.
claire78
 
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Re: Asbestos removal

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:14 pm

Sounds like a mess. What do you mean by "DHCR Multiple ongoing cases since 2015 to reinstate rent by owners?"

Where is the doctor's office -- first floor? See if the zoning allows it, or maybe grandfathering if it's been there many years. If above first floor, might not be legal. Also check the Certificate of Occupancy, if there is one. If they've done any major alterations, then likely a CoO requirement would be triggered.

The offers -- I presume you mean the downsides if you move somewhere else.

Security cameras are not required by any law we know of, and the lack of cameras might be a good thing. It's a double-edge sword.

The might not give you info about asbestos, but they would have to apply to the NYC Dept of Environmental Protection. I would start here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dep/environme ... ement.page

I would also contact/hire an asbestos specialist. Yes they can be expensive, but asbestos is not something you want to inhale (just like COVID).

If the LL does any work in the area and does not set up all sorts of plastic sheets and if the workers are not wearing hazmat (moon) suits, then something is amiss. They might have a permit from DOB, but they also need one from DEP. If that happens I would call 311 or 911 ASAP. Also contact your community board and elected officials as - honestly - 311 doesn't really respond in any meaningful time frame, if at all.

Landlords are notorious for trying to do asbestos work without adequate protections. They bring in guys from other countries (read foreign accents - in my experience from Eastern Europe) who want the work and are willing to disregard their own safety, let alone yours.
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Re: Asbestos removal

Postby claire78 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:05 pm

Dhcr ongoing issue posted just so you get an idea the building is not taken care of. No relation to asbestos removal same with doctors office. This was only to provide a general description of the premises. Not a problem.

The asbestos removal is to be done by a licensed co listed on the notice they posted. At least it is what is says, listing the co name I looked up online, It is a permit from the city, but I cannot find anything online showing work to be done. I guess I will see who comes and what protective material they use. For the stairwell and themselves. Apparently nothing to provide for my apartment connected to the bellow one by a fireplace...I inquired, described the concerns and I was given not only not given any information, but I was clear denied information by the owner.

Should anything go wrong they will be liable and will have to suffer the consequences.

The question was if the owner is required to provide written information to the tenants and protection. How are they going to remove the asbestos from the building in the narrow stairwell? Are they supposed to protect the stairwell and how am I going to get in and out of the building? I think for all the inconvenience I should have a rent reduction.
claire78
 
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Re: Asbestos removal

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:16 pm

DOB requires a tenant protection plan be posted. I don't know if DEP requires the same thing. But if you dig around you can find the Pub Affairs person at DEC and see if the can tell you. Many years ago we had a non-asbestos issue and were able to contact and speak with the chief engineer at DEC. He investigated our issue and placed a violation. There is often cross-jurisdiction between DEC and DOB. Of course these days you have 311 acting as a shield to preventing access to various departments. That might behoove a personal visit to the agency and demand to speak with someone who knows.

You won't get a rent reduction unless it goes on for many months. For one apartment it might take a few days depending on the corners they cut.
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Re: Asbestos Removal

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:27 pm

This topic has been moved to NYC General Discussion. The top is not relevant to the HSTPA of 2019.
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