An East Village apartment landlord — at a building where a toddler allegedly contracted lead poisoning — has sued a tenant and a housing agency claiming they won’t allow him in to fix the problem, according to court papers filed Monday.
The owners of the 265 East 10th St. building where Garvey Rich says his son, Aristotle, tested positive for lead, said in the Manhattan Supreme Court suit that Rich and Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation & Development Louise Carroll won’t let its lead abatement company into the sixth-floor apartment.
The landlord claims it was ordered to carry out the fixes in an Aug. 29 Abate Nuisance letter.
The lawsuit says Rich — a 53-year-old freelance marketing consultant — has demanded he be relocated to another place while the company conducts the lead mitigation process and that the owner should also first agree to fix other unrelated issues in the apartment.
The landlord “forwarded defendant [Rich] a proposed Temporary Relocation Agreement. However, Defendant has refused to execute [it],” the suit claims.
The owners also claim that HPD — the city’s tenant watchdog — said in a Post article that it will bring in its own contractor to perform the work on Oct. 3 through an “Emergency Repair Program.”
The landlord says it should be able to make the repairs with a company of its choice to supervise the work, according to the court papers.
Rich — whose son suffers from delayed speech and walking — told The Post his lawyers advised him not to sign the proposed relocation agreement. But the owner wasn’t “willing to even negotiate it. I have a kid that has ingested lead. Why would I sign away my rights for them moving me?” Rich said.
And he admitted that he told the contractors not to come on one occasion when they were going to work on fixing his bathtub that had lead in it because he didn’t want them to do piecemeal fixes while he and his son were living there. And he said if they were going to do repairs they should also address a rampant mouse problem.
“They will let you sit in the dust, play in the dust,” Rich said regarding if he and his son had been home during the repairs.
265 East 10th Street NY LLC wants a chance to fix the problem itself and is requesting that a judge rule that Rich allow its Environmental Protection Agency-approved company to do the job before HPD’s emergency repair program goes into effect.
HPD and a lawyer for the owner did not immediately return requests for comment.
Last week, a report came out that found that the Health Department and HPD’s bureaucratic failures left nearly 12,000 children living in lead-contaminated private homes.
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