Some residents of one rent-stabilized Astoria apartment building say they are tired of having to fight for what should be their basic rights as tenants.
Sally Aponte has been living at 28-28 35th St. since 1995 and said she started having issues with the building’s landlord, Peter Hiotis of P & T Management CO LLC, when it came to getting repairs completed within her apartment.
At first, Aponte decided to verbally ask her landlord for help with regard to these repairs, such as fixing a kitchen stove or repairing broken bathroom tiles, but after receiving what she calls “patchwork repairs,” she decided to finally file a formal complaint to 311 in 2007.
“He tends to always blame the tenants whenever you ask for repairs and I think he uses that to discourage you to ask for repairs,” Aponte said.
During this time, an attorney for the landlord also sent Aponte a letter advising her that if she made any further complaints, Hiotis would have to pursue eviction because she was allegedly violating the “rent stabilization code.”
Aponte added that the stove was fixed because Hiotis was fined by the FDNY but the rest of the problems in her home remained ignored until an inspector from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) went to the home.
The inspector found nine violations within the home, such as exposed and sparking electrical wiring, defective and broken plastered surfaces on walls and ceilings, and a defective smoke detector.
And although some of the repairs have since been completed, albeit improperly, Aponte is facing eviction.
According to court documents, Aponte is facing eviction because she is being accused of withholding rent, harassing other tenants, and defacing vehicles of her landlord and other tenants. However, Aponte says she has evidence proving all those accusations as false and believes the eviction comes as a form of retaliation for reporting past and present neglected repairs.