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NY1 For You: Far Rockaway Tenants Left In The Dark After Sandy Still Had To Pay Rent

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Most tenants left without heat and electricity from Hurricane Sandy did not pay rent for the time they were without these essential services, but for a number of Far Rockaway residents that was not the case. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.

Tenants at the Wavecrest Apartments in Far Rockaway lacked heat or electricity for most of November because of Hurricane Sandy, but the management of the Queens development still collected rent.

While tenants say not having basic services what difficult, but they are much more upset with the way management handled the situation.

"There was no hot water, there was no heat and these are things that are on the website saying that this is what Wavecrest provides and they weren't able to provide it," says tenant Kye Weaver. "So why should we pay for times they can't provide what they said they can?"

"There was no heat, there was no hot water," says tenant Barbara Simpson. "The bottom line of it, whether or not it's one cent or $500, I think that this is something that the landlord needed to address with the tenants."

NY1 contacted Pelican Management for Wavecrest and a spokesperson refused to comment on the story.

The station then spoke with Tenants and Neighbors, a tenants' rights organization, and spokesman Sam Stein says it is absolutely illegal to charge tenants rent when they are not receiving essential services.

"Tenants should not be paying rent when they're not getting heat, they're not getting electricity, when their basic services are not being provided," Stein says.

He went on to say the tenants should file a "Reduction In Services" complaint with New York State Homes and Community Renewal. For more information, visit www.nyshcr.org.

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