Tenants and Community Members Picket Local Slumlord’s Office to Stop Eviction and Make Repairs

On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at Noon at 310 State St. tenants Alan and Bonita Williams and supporters will hold at picket outside the offices of local landlord Christopher Thomas (aka, CT Rentals, New 2 U Homes).  The Williams family at 30 Cutler St., Rochester, NY 14621 has been delivered a 72 eviction notice but is calling on their landlord to negotiate as the are willing and able to pay the $850 a month.  Bonita and Alan Williams are part of growing crisis of tenants in foreclosure, caught between conflicts between the banks and what many call “slumlords.”   In this case the landlord was accepting rent money but not making repairs or paying the mortgage.  The family is hoping to  negotiate to stay in the house long enough to buy it directly from the HSBC and fix it up.

Background at 30 Cutler St.

  • Williams family have been tenants in the house since 2009
  • They want to buy the house and fix it up
  • Local “slumlord” Christopher Thomas hasn’t fixed up the property in years, including 30 code violations issued by the City of Rochester, squirrel infestation, flooding in the basement, electrical problems, holes in the roof, etc.
  • Thomas hasn’t paid the mortgage since May 2010
  • The tenants continued to pay rent even though no repairs or mortgage payments were being made
  • Tenants and the landlord came to an agreement in 2011 that they would not have to pay rent until the code violations were fixed and promised to fix them promptly
  • Despite the agreement the landlord did not make repairs took the tenants to court to evict them for not paying
  • In February 2013, HSBC filed for foreclosure with Alan and Bonita caught in the middle
  • Bonita and Alan made good faith payment of $850 rent in June, but still no repairs were made
  • Despite many promises from the landlord and many good faith attemps for Bonita and Alan to negotiate with the landlord, he has refused to put any fair offer in writing, choosing confrontation over conciliation
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