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NORTH GREENBUSH – Blake Trzesiara has lived at the Oak Hill Apartments in North Greenbush for about a year and a half. After a balcony collapsed on the property earlier this week, he was one of 45 tenants who received a notice advising him to stay off his own balcony.
“I think it is a hardship because you just don’t know,” Trzesiara said. “It’s kind of scary because you can be out on the balcony and it could collapse. And you’re paying a lot of money.”
Briana Bhola has different concerns.
“I”m now noticing my walls are starting to crack in the corners due to upstairs moving around,” Bhola said. “My concern is the wall is going to crack completely.”
Still, other residents have told NewsChannel 13 they have mold issues in and around their apartments. Many tenants have also said they’re not satisfied with the pace at which management is addressing their concerns — if they’re being addressed at all.
“I would argue, if there is a dangerous condition, the reasonable time is immediately,” Mario Cometti, a partner at Tully Rinckey Law Firm in Albany, asserted.
“There’s always strength in numbers,” Cometti continued. “If they were to collectively seek legal advice, they would have a lot of ammunition to force the landlord to do something.”
Cometti says one tactic tenants might want to consider is to withhold part of their rent until the landlord fixes whatever is broken or unsafe.
“From just a plain common sense standpoint, and setting aside the morality of not wanting to hurt people,” Cometti said. “It’s good business to fix these types of things because otherwise who’s going to rent your apartment?”
Cometti says if you choose to withhold your rent, don’t spend it. You still have to pay the rent.
NewsChannel 13 contacted the Oak Hill Apartments owner Friday afternoon. He told us, “No comment, and please don’t call me again.”