One tenant has to barricade her refrigerator shut at night to keep the rats from getting into it. Another tenant spent three years going to the bathroom with an umbrella to stay dry, because water dripped from the ceiling.
Welcome to life in the hree buildings in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx run by College Management and owned by Eli Abbott -- named the city's worst landlord by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
"It used to be a pleasure to live here," said Carmen Merced, who lives in one of College Management's buildings. She is one of the tenants planning to face off against their landlord in Bronx Housing Court on Tuesday, hoping legal pressure will lead to action.
"He needs to either ship up or ship out," she said. "And honestly, we want him out."
An attorney who has represented Abbott in the past told NBC 4 New York that he's a good landlord.
College Management owns three buildings next to each other on College Avenue in the Bronx. In all, the buildings were cited 724 times, including 82 Class C violations -- which means there are immediately hazardous conditions that must be corrected within 24 hours.
Tenants described the list of problems: rats, cockroaches, ceilings collapsing from water damage, huge holes in walls and floors, missing smoke alarms and more. Residents said complaints to management have gone unanswered.
"This public pressure works," De Blasio said. "This organizing the tenants and putting the public pressure on works."
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