JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown landlord is speaking out after one of her apartments was left in filth by a tenant who hasn’t paid rent in months because of New York’s moratorium on evictions.
Patty Culliton, who owns a multi-dwelling apartment house on Stowe Street in Jamestown, wants the state to know what some New Yorkers are doing to take advantage of the system.
“Everybody else has paid their rent. I have one person that’s $200 behind, and that’s because I allowed them to help them out,” explained Culliton. “Even the people that struggled a little at the beginning, once their unemployment or stimulus check came, they all came up to date.”
Even though her tenant hadn’t paid rent for several months, Culliton knew she couldn’t evict him because of the state order. The man at times also claimed to be sick with COVID-19, preventing a check of the property.
The situation was financially hard on Culliton who had to continue to pay his utilities despite having no income coming in.
After months of back-and-forth with her tenant, Culliton thought she would find some relief when he announced we was moving out, however, she found the complete opposite, an abandoned apartment left in total ruin.
“When I pushed the door open, I was bombarded with these flies,” said Culliton. “The smell was horrific, the flies everywhere. I mean the filth speaks for itself. I just got angry. I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw up. I didn’t know what to do.”
She says the filth stretched from every end of the apartment. In the end, Culliton hopes that landlords take notice and prevents the occurrence from happening to them.
“Albany needs to know what is going on in these situations,” said Culliton. “If we want to get together and take a march on Albany as landlords maybe that would help.”
As for the cleanup effort, the landlord says she plans to hire a professional cleaning company. So far, quotes for the job estimate it will cost hundreds of dollars to simply start the cleanup.