Five displaced Williamsburg residents may soon be allowed to return to their homes, after four years of battling with their landlord.
In June of 2009, the tenants of 172 N 8th Street—a rent-stabilized building—charged their landlord, Jamal Alokasheh with intentionally sabotaging the foundation of the building as part of a cartoonishly villainous plot to drive them from their havens of affordability. Some residents were reportedly paying as low as $300 a month for their apartments—a real estate joke, when the median cost of a Brooklyn studio apartment is now hovering around $2,000 a month.
In late 2010, the tenants won a small victory when a judge ruled that Alokasheh could not make the necessary repairs himself, appointing an administrator to oversee the project. Alokasheh allegedly attempted to slow the repairs to a crawl, filing frivolous complaints and lawsuits one after another. Now, if all goes according to schedule, the the residents will be able to return by the end of the month.
But let's be honest. If this landlord is half as tenacious as he's been in the past, he's probably going to plant a hornet nest in each apartment or something. Nobody messes with Jamal Alokasheh and gets away with it!
· "Tenants close to coming out on top in four year Williamsburg building dispute" [NYDN]