AgentRentals

Apartment tenants succumb to weeklong elevator breakdown

Stranded seniors seek compensation for inconvenience

Question: I live in a Section 8 apartment community for seniors. I live on the fourth floor and cannot walk. I use a wheelchair to get around, as most others do in my building. A few weeks ago the elevator in our building broke down and it was not fixed for more than seven days, stranding all second-, third- and fourth-floor tenants who were in their apartments. Those residents who happened to be out of their apartment the day the elevator stopped working couldn't return for a week. After having exhausted the city, state and even the Americans with Disabilities Act, all have said there is nothing that can be done. Someone on my floor called in a fire alarm last weekend, and I am being blamed. What recourse do I and others like me have? Tenants' attorney Kellman replies: Elevators, like cars, can break down and need to be repaired. Like cars also, they can be maintained with routine servicing to help prevent such breakdowns. A brief check with at least one local elevator company confirm...