The article “One of the City’s Worst Landlords Targets Morton Street Senior” in the March issue of WestView was welcomed by long-term tenants at 40 Morton Street. We all sympathize with Indra Kaushal and condemn the harassment from Michael Sloan. Sloan, operating through Skyjam Holdings, is also the owner and manager of 40 Morton Street. He has a history of harassment in our building, too, and he has been successful in driving some long-term neighbors from the building.
In August 2014, Michael Sloan’s plumber removed the gas meter for my apartment; Sloan claimed ConEd had removed the gas meter. ConEd said that they had not, and had not been in the building for over a year. I hired an attorney and went to court. Judge Peter Wendt at first seemed to side with Sloan, but my attorney, George Locker, was successful in forcing Sloan to restore services. Sloan claimed he must first replace all gas lines in 40 Morton Street. He gave all long-term tenants new gas lines. It took seven months until Sloan restored my gas in March 2015.
In October 2016, Michael Sloan again turned off gas to tenants at 40 Morton Street. All but one of the affected tenants are seniors on fixed incomes, some with health problems; all of their apartments are rent-controlled or rent-stabilized. Sloan initially claimed it was ConEd’s fault that we had no gas. He now claims that he “must” replace gas stoves with electric ones, petitioning NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) for the right to do major construction to re-wire our apartments. He hopes to receive a rent increase and disrupt our lives with sloppy construction and non-union construction workers who have no concern about flying debris and dust in the building or in the street.
The “hostile judge, Peter Wendt,” referred to in the WestView article seems to side with Sloan in our current case in Housing Court, as we petition to restore gas services. This is the opposite of Wendt’s ruling two years ago when attorney Locker demonstrated Sloan’s responsibility to restore original services.
Michael Sloan harasses tenants at 40 Morton Street in other ways:
1. Sloan has not renewed leases of long-term tenants over the past year. When asked about new leases, he remains silent, or claims the new lease “must have been lost in the mail.”
2. Sloan does not provide 40 Morton Street with a super. He posts the name of a local man as the super but that man says he does not work for Sloan and is not the super of 40 Morton Street. He is a super in another building on the block.
3. Sloan continues to be abusive to tenants, not responding to emergencies on the weekend or after 5:00 p.m. during the week.
Thank you again for covering Indra Kaushal’s struggle against Sloan as well as other important issues. In this era of power and greed, WestView News provides a crucial service to our community and to our neighborhoods.
—Encke King, 40 Morton Street