Why can’t they keep the hot water running?
That’s what residents of one Ridgewood building are asking their landlord after enduring a three-day water outage that began on Memorial Day weekend and ended on Wednesday night — only to lose service once again hours later.
It’s the latest in a series of controversies involving the landlord, Silvershore Properties. The flow of hot water has reportedly been spotty throughout May at 1708 Summerfield St., which was the site of a rally earlier this month in which tenants complained about poor living conditions in the apartment building.
Sully Estevez says this experience with losing heat and hot water is not uncommon in Silvershore’s building, and these two amenities have a tendency to vanish about every two weeks. Estevez attributes this to the boiler not having enough oil to last long and said winters can be a hardship with a 2-year-old son.
“The landlord has a bad habit of not filling up the boiler’s oil, so what happens is they put very little and every so often we’re out of hot water for two to three to four days,” Estevez said. “It’s really bad, especially in the winter time … I have toddler and also have a newborn now. My son is asthmatic. On a couple of occasions my son has gotten sick because of the lack of heat.”
Although June is approaching, Estevez looks back on the winters where she was forced to confine herself and her kids to a bedroom with space heaters for warmth.
Her youngest child is 2 weeks old and her family has lived there for four years.
Silvershore’s response to the calls of the Ridgewood Tenants Union (RTU) over social media to provide consistent heat for their residents was terse.
“The hot water is working,” Kenneth Fisher, an attorney with Silvershore, told QNS in an email at almost 10 p.m. on May 29 after the outage that started on May 26.
Estevez, however, said on Thursday that the hot water was out again as FDNY firefighters investigated a situation on the roof of the building.
There were 13 total complaints on the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development website that specified lack of hot water throughout the month, many entries specifying the entire building.
In April, the Summerfield Street building had already racked up over 65 complaints for 2019 alone with the majority of them pertaining to heat and hot water.
Silvershore Properties made the city Public Advocate’s 100 Worst Landlord list in 2017, which Fisher told QNS in April was due to the fact that the majority of their portfolio was acquired in poor condition in 2016. They have not made the list since.
The outcry from residents at the rally was not limited to heat and hot water.
Gloria Nieves has said Silvershore continues to jack up the rent while skimping on basic services like bring the garbage to the street or snow removal. She also said that when Silvershore wishes to enter an apartment, they often do so without warning.
Other HPD complaints pertained to malfunctioning intercoms.