Tenants who have been suffering without heat or hot water for nearly 18 days in a Brooklyn apartment building can expect to keep shivering for eight more days.
After The Post’s exposé Thursday, two workers finally showed up at the South 11th Street site in Williamsburg to begin repairs — but owner Mark Berkowitz told a tenant the work still wouldn’t be done before next Friday.
“I was expecting to see a lot more work being done right now,” said City Councilman Stephen Levin, who toured the 44-unit building and spoke to tenants on Thursday. “I was expecting a larger team to be working this morning.”
Despite the glacial pace, residents were grateful to see some action after they had inundated the city with more than 260 complaints since a gas leak prompted the heat to be shut on New Year’s Eve.
A week later, the heat and hot water returned for a mere 18 hours before city inspectors forced it off because gas-line repairs had been done shoddily and without a permit. It took the owner an additional week to file the paperwork just to begin making licensed repairs.
“I can’t thank the New York Post enough! You guys are really making this happen,” said tenant Rob Spectre.
“This is the first day it seems like anyone cares.”
Spectre said Berkowitz asked tenants not to engage with city inspectors. “Make sure no one lets in any inspectors to their apartments as of right now, ’til we get the heat,” Spectre quoted Berkowitz, of Dov Land USA, as saying.
Without putting any of the responsibility on himself and the unlicensed work, Spectre said the landlord also told him, “It would have been much better if no one would have called the city to begin with — you would have had heat for two weeks.”
Berkowitz didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
A spokesman noted Berkowitz had “cooperated with all city officials and inspectors and is ensuring all work complies with all regulations. There has been and will be no interference with inspectors.”
Officials at the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development said they have assigned inspectors to the building to monitor repairs.
Those inspectors also issued new violations Thursday for lack of heat.
The agency could have opted to do the emergency repairs on its own — and bill the owner for it — but deemed the work too costly and time-consuming because the building has no central heating system in place.
“It is unacceptable that residents have suffered through record-setting cold because of this owner’s dangerous work and inexcusable inaction,” said HPD spokeswoman Juliet Pierre-Antoine.
“We ensured space heaters were provided to the tenants and intend on aggressively pursuing [the] owner[s] to hold them responsible for their alarming actions.”