Tenants at Schleicher’s Court in College Point took their battle to court this week, which may have kick−started the repairs they have been waiting to be completed on the stately building that houses their apartments since July.
The seven families who live at 11−41 123rd St., a 19th−century mansion converted into apartments, went before a judge at Queens Civil Court in Jamaica Monday to demand that an August court order requiring that an upgrade to the house’s antiquated wiring system be enforced.
The tenants have been scattered around the city since July, when the city Department of Buildings issued a full−vacate order on the seven apartments after inspectors found the building’s wiring system was creating a “dangerous” living environment.
After a representative for Con Edison said it would send inspectors to the home to make sure the electricity was turned on to facilitate repairs, a judge ordered that repairs must begin on the building by Dec. 23 and called for all parties to return to the courthouse Christmas Eve for an update on the situation, according to tenants of the building.
“I’m not happy with the way things went,” said Rita Douglas, a tenant. “I want to go home. When does it end? I thought we’d see something really positive happen here, but I guess we’ll have to see. I’m kind of disappointed.”
Georgina Sagr, the building manager and sister of the building’s owner, Eva Rohan, appeared at the hearing representing the ownership, the tenants said. A call made to Sagr for comment was not returned by press time.
Meanwhile, Douglas said inspectors from the city Department of Housing also visited the home this week.
City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) has been pushing for the mansion to be repaired under a DOH program that allows the agency to make emergency repairs to homes and subsequently bill the property owner if they deem it necessary.
The DOB said it cannot lift the vacate order until it is notified that a contract has been signed to do the repairs.
Douglas and another tenant, Kalvis Macs, said they were told on Nov. 27 by the DOH that a contract had been awarded to make repairs on their building, but four days later were informed that the process had been stopped when it got to the department’s Manhattan offices for authorization.
The DOH did not return requests for comment.
The tenants are expected to return to Queens Civil Court on Christmas Eve at 9:30 a.m.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@
©2008 Community News Group
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