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Landlord and tenant at odds, city cites multiple building violations

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Nov 05, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — “I’ve been in my apartment for 7 days with no heat or hot water.”

Brianna Bryant has lived in her apartment on Wohlers Avenue in Buffalo since May. She said conditions have become unbearable.

“I’ve been in my apartment for seven days with no heat or hot water,” Brianna Bryant said. “There’s mold. The windows are so old that when the wind blows, they slide out of the window frame and break.”

There are four units in the building, which is owned by Honesty Property Management and Multi-Services Incorporated.

According to City of Buffalo records, city inspectors have cited the property 15 times since 2016, for violations including structural issues, permit violations and broken windows and doors.

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On Friday Bryant provided us with an order from the Buffalo Department of permit and inspection services, which says “due to the above violations this build should not be occupied.” It orders the landlord to provide suitable housing for all tenants.

“It just leaves me and my children in a messed-up predicament,” Bryant said.

The order cites the property for eight current violations including accumulation of garbage, infestation, and unsafe equipment.

Meghan Zickl, a legal tenant advocate from push Buffalo, said these issues are not getting fixed fast enough.

“These are about habitable conditions that folks have a basic human right to,” Zickl said.

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I went to the address listed online as a local office for honesty property management, but no one answered the door.

When I called the listed number a man, who acknowledged his involvement with the property, said management is not to blame for all of the issues. He blamed the tenant for some of the damage.

In response to the city’s list of violations, he said those issues would be addressed as soon as possible.

“You should have programs to call,” Zickl said. “Emergency rental assistances in place, there should be city programs.”

I reached out to Masten District council member, Ulysses Wingo, he said he is not familiar with the situation. I also reached out to a representative with the department of permit and inspection services but have not yet heard back.

Zickl said any other tenants who need help should reach out to PUSH Buffalo, which can connect tenants in need with the emergency rental assistance program.

“If you can, in Erie County, folks who are eligible for ERAP should apply for ERAP,” Zickl said.

If you are struggling with rent, you might be eligible for the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program. You can call for help at 844-691-7368.