We have a nominee for the "Worst Landlord Ever (This Week)" after reading a sad story in the The Brooklyn Paper. Ninety-four year old Dominick Diomede was interviewed about his real estate plight: He is being evicted from the Carroll Gardens apartment he's lived in for years.
Diomede, you see, pays just $500 a month for his floor-through apartment on Woodhull Street. His downstairs neighbors? They came much later, so they pay $2,500.
Unlike them, though, Diomede doesn’t have a lease. He never needed one; his best friend Charlie owned the building, and back in the old days, a handshake and an on-time rent check were the only contract anyone needed.
But Charlie is long gone and now his grandkids want Diomede out. They served him with an eviction notice on Jan. 5 and he’ll be forced to move on Jan. 22. (Neither the landlord, nor his lawyer, could be reached for comment.)
The Department for the Aging has been trying to find an apartment for Diomede, but the Department of Housing controls the housing stock and won't give seniors priority until they are on the street (!). The Brooklyn Paper's Gersh Kuntzman spoke to Diomede's pro-bono lawyer who says, "Dom’s legal battle is hopeless, really."
Diomede laments the greed, saying how he shoveled the snow and mowed the lawn for the family that owns the building, and says he'll "sleep in my Buick before I move" from Carroll Gardens. The Brooklyn Paper's Gersh Kuntzman mentions that Diomede can afford up to $800/month, in hopes that "Diomede’s plight will encourage someone to rent this nice guy an apartment." We hope so, too.
Photograph by Gersh Kuntzman for The Brooklyn Paper