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Skyline Tenants File Class Action Lawsuit Against Owners For Breaking Terms Of Lease Agreements

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Scott Willis
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WAER News

Tenants at Syracuse’s troubled Skyline Apartment Complex have filed a class action lawsuit in Onondaga County Supreme Court against the owners for breaking a basic but essential part of a lease agreement.

The tenants are represented by Staff Attorney Joe Maslak at Legal Services of Central New York.

"In New York, every lease between a landlord and tenant includes a promise of warranty of habitability,  a promise by the landlord that they will maintain the property in safe, clean, habitable condition.  Our position is they breached that, they broke that promise."

He says the office was contacted by well over 20 residents in recent months complaining that Green Skyline Apartments, LLC was not addressing broken elevators, human waste and used syringes in hallways and stairwells, and trespassers freely entering the 365-unit building.

"I've met with and spoken with tenants of the building who prop their wheelchairs against their door when they go to sleep because they're terrified of what might happen when they're asleep.  There are others whose children and grandchildren are not allowed to visit them in their own home because the building is so dangerous.  These are conditions that no one should ever have to live in."

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Credit WAER file photo
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Maslak says the lawsuit details how conditions deteriorated after the Green family purchased Skyline in 2016.  He says things don’t seem to be improving much. 

"We have not seen evidence that they are now in compliance with their requirements under New York law.  If they were to show that, and we were to be satisfied with that, all it would do is stop the damages from accruing.  Our clients still have claims for all the time without a clean, habitable, safe place to live."

Maslak says the clients should be entitled to a refund.  Meanwhile, common areas of the building remain “unfit for human occupancy” under the city’s nuisance abatement order.