While reading Mr. Tanner's letter of Dec. 21 ("zombie landlords"), my first thought was he had hit close to home. Although housing laws vary, the landlords appear to dismiss tenants’ concerns leaving them in limbo.
HUD has regulations in place, however, tenants feel as if they are drifting in a quagmire of rules, with no one hearing their voices of concern. Management's response is no response whatsoever; thereby the tenants feel helpless. Voiced complaints are swept under the rug, especially in areas of mold, sexual harassment by an employee, tenants smoking marijuana, disturbance of "quality of life issues." Mr. Tanner's similarities left me wondering if he lives in public housing. We have a neighbor who has reports of bed bugs, drug smoke coming from the apartment in which a child lives. When reports of cold entering through windows, or other complaints, they are ignored by those in charge. Even one charge of sexual harassment is one too many. Such a report should be investigated, with the police being called in, even if against a current employee; how does management ignore such a charge, dismissing it outright? Shouldn't the employee be forced to take a leave of absence until the situation is resolved?
A suspicion of drug use is reason enough for officers of the court (police) to seek and obtain a warrant through the DA's office, with a judge signing as the court's magistrate. The NYS penal code provides for this reasonably. Even citizens have the right under our penal code to make a citizen's arrest after which the said person is taken to the station.
Tenants of HUD properties are citizens and deserve to be heard.
Elizabeth Finch, Glens Falls