East Williamsburg residents are taking a stand against their new landlord, who they say has been threatening them and using illegal construction to get them to leave their apartments.
The tenants of 272 Stagg St. were joined on Tuesday by dozens of housing advocates with St. Nicks Alliance and the Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition as they rallied against landlord Silvio Cruz outside of their building.
“The tenants feel very unsafe,” said St. Nicks Alliance deputy director Rolando Guzman, who has been providing counseling services to the tenants. “Before the construction started, the landlord's contractor told one of the tenants, ‘you need to move out or you will be put in shelters.’ ”
Since Nov. 14, the building has racked up 17 complaints from the Department of Buildings, two of which remain open, as of Tuesday. The complaints ranged from construction without a permit to cutting off gas to part of the building and an inadequate tenant protection plan, according to DOB records.
Guzman said the tenants have been filing complaints about Cruz and the construction work since November, when he bought the building.