Our bargaining committee delegates from 649 Empire TA (representing over 70% of a 54 unit building who signed on to our collective demands ) met with landlord Michael Niamonitakis of Meridian Properties LLC. We presented an itemized list of our collective conditions and a timeline we expect these conditions to be remediated. At several point in the negotiation meeting the landlord tried to present means-tested and individualized solutions. Telling the Tenants Association to do our own assessments of the apartments, telling us that we should individually ask for fixes to infrastructural problems that effects every tenant.
This was unacceptable and we successfully pushed this back. It is the landlords responsibility to fix these problem. Most every tenant faces structural damage to their windows and heating — this is the responsibility of the landlord, and if they do not want that responsibility then they should hand over the property to the tenants! We won our demand for two sets of association-approved contractors to do a full inspection of each unit.
Michael owns more than 100 properties in Central and South Brooklyn and has made the LandlordWatchList’s top five with 1,060 open violations in his buildings. Why, you might ask, did this negligent landlord agree to personally sit down and bargain with us? As a result of our organizing, we built a fighting and militant organization of tenants who will no longer sit idle by as their homes are falling apart. We are moving in the direction of more and more control of where and how we live. This is possible for us all! Join Us!