The Department of Buildings and Fire Department arrived Wednesday afternoon and kicked out some residents of 401 Onderdonk Avenue after a tenant called the DOB to complain about the two-story apartment building. But according to the husband of the landlord, a Giovanna Torres, it was that very tenant who altered her own apartment into rentable rooms with separate entrances.
“She converted two rooms in her apartment into smaller apartments by installing doors and locks. We didn’t know she was renting the rooms until the Fire Department went inside and we saw what she did,” said the landlord’s husband, who did not want to give his name.
Torres’s husband told BushwickBK that the tenant was being evicted after not paying rent for six months; a judge ruled last month that she must move out by August 2.
“Her rent was only $900 for the last 6 years and we later found out she was charging $500 for each room and pocketing the money herself," said the husband, who also lives on the top floor with the landlord and their three children. He said he did see two men going in and out of the tenant’s apartment over the past few months but since she was being evicted he didn’t bother to question who they were.
"It wasn’t until the firefighter came and kicked everyone out that we found out the two men were actually her tenants."