2010-09-10 / Letters

Stairway To Scareway

Dear Editor,

I am a resident of the Surfside apartment complex. I know there has been a lot of frustration lately due to the weather and power issues we’ve had to deal with. These things were out of control and were necessary to correct a water problem.

My problem came while using alternate means to get around the issues we were having. I was nervous to take the elevator while the building was running on a generator, due to periodic brown-outs and brief power outages. I didn’t want to take the chance of getting stuck in the elevator. So I got my exercise for the past few weeks, trekking up and down the stairs every day (add some Waldbaums packages to the mix, and I got an extra intense workout!). Great. Forced exercise. Which would’ve been a good thing if I didn’t feel like my workout was taking place in a horror movie. In what one might call a Freudian slip, when talking to a friend, I accidently referred to taking the stairs as taking the “scares.”

Seriously. I thought other areas of the building were neglected in maintenance (i.e. laundry room!). But I was stunned to see what was lurking in the stairwells. Cigarette butts (lit and unlit), roaches (alive and dead), dirt, graffiti (even if fire department needed to reach a specific floor and couldn’t identify their location. Really made me feel safe), and even pockets of dog urine in the corners. REALLY??

I don’t know if I am more appalled at the people who are doing this, or the lack of maintenance in this area of the building. I know the building staff generally does a good job of maintaining the lobby, emptying the garage rooms, etc. I can only assume they are not told to do the stairs. It is extremely neglected and presents many unsanitary and unsafe conditions. I have reported this to the office, but of course nothing has been done. I thought of writing a letter to the owners, Alma Realty, but I know how that goes. Complete waste of my time and energy, as it would only be ignored. So I suppose I am venting my frustration here, in hopes that someone will hear me.

Oh, on a side note. When we lost power on Sunday evening, August 15, the stairwells were completely dark. No back up emergency lights. I used the light of my cell phone to guide me up the steps. I can’t help it, but this is a violation of some building code. At the time, I could only think of any elderly people forced to take the stairs – tough enough under normal circumstances, but made all the more challenging in pitch black conditions.

This is just really frustration. The beautiful oceanfront apartments juxtaposed against these other slum-like conditions. It is truly hard to comprehend. What a shame.


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A tenant should file a HPD

A tenant should file a HPD (Housing Preservation and Development) Petition in Housing Court, at 89-17 Sutphin Blvd. when there are conditions at the premises that need to be remedied. The owner will be served by the Court and will have to appear at Court and answer your charges. What you describe are Class A violations, and the landlord will have a short period of time to come in and remedy the conditions, or else the Landlord will face daily punitive charges.

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