City Council Member Martinez and Legal Aid Fight for Tenants' Rights
THURSDAY, MAY 08, 2008
City Council Member Miguel Martinez and Sateesh Nori, a Legal Aid lawyer, hold a press conference announcing civil action on behalf of tenants.

The tenants at 40 Sherman Avenue in Inwood haven't had gas in their building since March 25, 2008. Their apartments are infested with rats, leaks, peeling paint, and until recently, the hot-water boiler was broken.

Today, the tenants of 40 Sherman Avenue filed a civil action against their landlords, 40 Sherman Avenue LLC, its principal Daniel Wrublin, and Wavecrest Management, to obtain a court order to force the landlord to restore gas and to repair more than 130 violations in the building.

“We are rent-paying tenants who deserve basic repairs and services, and we have joined together to fight for our rights under the law,” said George Fernandez, the president of the tenant association of the building.

The tenant-petitioners represent more that 40 families in the building, which contains 48 units and is located in Inwood. The tenants are mostly working people with children and some elderly residents who have lived in the building for many years.

"Today's actions by the tenants is a great first step in denouncing the unfortunate living situation at 40 Sherman Avenue and to stand up for all tenants who wish to organize for a better quality of life." said Councilman Miguel Martinez.

Tenants Francis Edmonson, who has resided in the building for more than 40 years, and others are concerned that their building is deteriorating and that the landlord does not care about what happens to its tenants.

“This is the case of good people who are being forced to suffer without repairs or services while their landlord plays the waiting-game to profit from an empty building,” says Sateesh Nori, a lawyer at the Civil Practice's Harlem Community Law Office who is representing the tenants.