Slumlords, We're Watching You

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Choose from these terrible options: bed bugs, black mold, or sewage leaking into your apartment. Your choice would probably be to move out - and fast! Great, if you can afford it.

The renters in these two Brooklyn apartment buildings are not so fortunate. News recently surfaced that they've endured some of the most vile living conditions imaginable. In addition to the above these renters have also had to deal with personal safety issues such as front doors that do not lock and squatters setting up in the basement. One building has 129 violations, and the other has 130. As a result, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has taken the landlord to court to fix everything.
Unfortunately, HPD can't legally insist that the landlord live in one of these horrid buildings as part of the punishment!

The Village Voice used to run a regular feature, "10 Worst Landlords," starting in the 1960s. They still report on apartments from hell. What other slumlords are making recent news and how are ordinary renters fighting back?

Slumlords in the News

Three other awful apartment living conditions made recent news. Earlier this year a woman exposed her own brother for operating a vermin-invested building without heat in New York. In Omaha investigators found raw sewage flowing through an apartment building with the landlord M.I.A. The military, too, has been criticized about deplorable conditions in Fort Bragg, North Carolina apartments for soldiers returning from war.

Citizens, to the Interwebs!

Fighting poor housing conditions starts by knowing your renter's rights.

Spreading the word about dangerous conditions helps, too. An anonymous blogger started Baltimore Slumlord Watch to report on, as one fan writes, "crappy buildings and their owner's neglect". A similar blog popped up to watch Richmond, Virginia slumlords. Bad publicity can probably get the attention of otherwise negligent landlords.

Slumlords: you're on notice!
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