Croman Tenants on Ridge Street Still Without Cooking Gas After 9 Months
The tenement at 141 Ridge Street (at Stanton) is the latest battleground pitting embittered tenants against incarcerated landlord Steve Croman (aka 9300 Realty). Cooking gas was reportedly shut off last September due to purported unauthorized work on the gas lines. Nine months later, no relief. As a result, tenants began withholding rent payments, so team Croman leveled a “nonpayment case.”
The 141 Ridge Tenants Association last week unfurled a banner which reads, “No cooking gas for 9 months while Croman builds his mansion. LES Croman tenants United!” It’s a display of opposition mere weeks before Croman is released from his one-year prison sentence. The following is from our inbox:
Steve Croman bought our building in October 2012.
Last year, Croman’s workers renovated an apartment and, according to Con Edison and DOB, apparently used improper piping and were also found to have performed unauthorized valve operation. The building’s gas was immediately turned off by Con Ed. 9300 gave us a couple of hot plates to cook on and the building’s super said that the gas would be back on in a couple of weeks. When that didn’t happen, the building manager gave us numerous different dates which came and went but still no gas. We have now been without gas since September 2017 – almost 9 months.
We looked into the matter ourselves and learned that Croman had rectified nothing. Time and time again, we urged 9300 to restore gas service and asked for a reasonable rent abatement for the huge inconvenience of having no stoves, but our attempts to engage Croman were unsuccessful.
The same thing had happened in 2016 when the building was without heat and hot water for a total of a month and a half during the freezing winter period. We never got traction on the rent rebate issue no matter how much we emailed 9300. So this time, we went on rent strike keeping rents in escrow and with the Cooper Square Committee’s help-filed an HP action in housing court against Croman. HPD now also has a separate HP action against Croman.
Meanwhile, Croman has responded to the rent strike by bringing a non-payment case against us. He is playing all the same games with tenants as he did before he was incarcerated. The only thing that has changed is that Croman is markedky more aggressive than before. We’re all shocked at the fact that nothing has changed for the better in our case, despite the rules set out in the AG’s Consent Decree.
141 Ridge st Tenants’ Association won’t be worn down on this gas and rent rebate issue. We’re calling on any officials with any wherewithall in these matters to have our backs and help us restore the gas. We ask – when will there be a stop to Croman’s tenant unfriendly behavior?