Local landlord hikes rents to astronomical proportions

Shortly after purchasing an apartment building on Bloomfield in Park Ex, a new landlord hikes the rent way up, over a hundred dollars more per month, and all without improving living conditions.

Tenants in a building on Bloomfield in Park Extension have banded together in order to fight their landlord after a rent hike of astronomical proportions. As has been reported by other news outlets, the situation has certainly turned volatile and tempers have already flared. I visited the apartment and was taken on a tour by Abdul Waheed, a resident who reached out to me when things started to get really bad.

A hole in the Waheed kitchen—after work is supposedly finished on the unit—the family has reported mice and cockroaches even after the work was complete, specifically coming from that hole and others

A major difference in rent

Before the new owner purchased the building, Abdul Waheed’s rent was at $570 per month and heating and hot water was paid. Now that the new landlord has purchased the building, he prepared a new lease and this new lease states that Abdul will be charged $700 per month, and not only that … as it stands now, heating and hot water will no longer be included in that monthly rate. Now, heating and hot water is to be paid separately by tenants.

“His greed is never-ending,” said Waheed in an interview I conducted with him last week.

Waheed’s front door neighbor, a Mr. Narinder Singh Thethy, stated that his rent was initially $565 and it has now been hiked to $720 and of course he too must now pay heating and hot water every single month in addition to this incredible hike.

Narinder Singh Thethy, Waheed’s front door neighbor talking to me about the conditions and the abusive behavior of the new landlord over the last few weeks

“He singled us out because we know the law,” said Narinder on the same day I spoke to Waheed.

And as per the aforementioned law, the rent hikes are not at all legal according to knowledgeable sources, and neither is the sudden charging of heat and hot water. According to Global News and Amy Darwish, a Park Extension community organizer, this can only be done during what is called a renewal period, and of the heat and hot water she said: “And generally when they change the heating system or they force tenants to start paying for heating, they usually have to do a rent reduction as well, which has not been done in this situation.”

A tenant’s cry for help

A hole in the Waheed kitchen—after work is supposedly finished on the unit—the family has reported mice and cockroaches even after the work was complete, specifically coming from that hole and others

It was Abdul Waheed himself that approached me to do a story on this. He said that Global News and CTV had already covered the story, but he wanted the local paper to also do a story on the matter, wanting to alert the community on what was happening right in their own borough.

So I took a trip to his building.

Upon arrival, I saw workers working atop a mechanical lift, debris falling right over the entrance where tenants go in and out at all hours of the day. Waheed met me outside and he showed me around. His apartment was left in total disarray. He stated that workers and his landlord had finished renovations at his place specifically and had now moved on further up in the building, but to call the work done on his apartment a job well one would be very far from the truth. Light switches were left without covers, heaters were left without proper covers, paint and scratches were left atop the hardwood floor and the walls were full of holes in places (bathroom and kitchen). It was here that cockroaches were still present and the family reported seeing even a mouse after the work was completed.

The new landlord has told news outlets that the work done is a perfect job.

The tenants beg to differ.

Waheed points to the sinks in the laundry room, asking the question: How are families supposed to do their laundry in a room that is in such conditions?

Also found on the scene was a laundry room left in utter disarray, on one floor, a solid massive nail was used to hold open a door on one of the landings … a landing where children pass and play urged Waheed. A window on a high level was left without a screen as work progressed and access to a very dangerous basement where tools, sharp screws and nails was left exposed and unattended during the day. The fire escape stairwell is also in terrible shape and desperately needs attention.

Reports of abuse

And if the landlord is told any of this, he apparently responds crudely and even violently, reported tenants. They said that he is abusive and verbally so, dropping F-Bombs throughout tirades where he threatens them.

Abdul Waheed has taken to social media and has even posted videos he has taken of the landlord acting in such ways, and he did this to prove that there is indeed an issue and Waheed and his neighbors hope something is done and soon. As of press time, they are still looking for legal representation.