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Bronx Tenants File Suit against Landlord over Unsafe Living Conditions

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New York, NYThis January a housing court judge will hear testimony from the residents of a dilapidated apartment building in the Bronx who are seeking damages from their landlord over what they call unsafe living conditions.

The tenants of the 17-story building claim that the structure has degraded to an unconscionable degree, resulting in an unhealthy and unsafe living environment.

Residents have reported moldy buildups, broken windows, doors and locks, inadequate heat, leaky pipes, ceilings and toilets, and an elevator that has been in disrepair for more than a year. Building owners University Residence have not provided timely repairs or basic maintenance services and have failed to eliminate a rodent problem.

Under federal housing laws, landlords must provide habitable environment free of contaminants, vermin and structural problems.

"You don't have to be an attorney to know that the housing maintenance code is not optional," Urban Justice Center attorney Marie Tatro told a local ABC News affiliate.

Forty-seven of the building's tenants have joined the lawsuit filed last week with the Bronx housing court, with tenants hoping the court will force University Residence to make all required repairs.

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