Back in 2010, then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio launched an online slumlord watchlist in an attempt to shame landlords into treating tenants with a little more respect. Greenpoint landlord Malina Nealis has been on that list since at least 2011, wracking up 98 total infractions (as of October 2013). She allegedly runs three buildings, all of which have turned into living hells for the people residing in them. How bad have things gotten? One tenant wrote a Thought Catalog piece recounting all the horrors.
Greenpointers has the details about Nealis, whom you can see allegedly assaulting a tenant in the video above. According to video uploader Andrew M., who lives in one of Nealis'; buildings at 95 Clay Street, "This happened when National Grid was coming to install the new meter. The city hired a contractor to fix the pipes when, Malina Nealis, the landlord failed to. Here she is getting hostile without warning." Andrew has started a Tumblr to document what's been happening at the building.
Fellow building resident Daniel Pippenger told Greenpointers that Nealis was illegally rigging the building's pipes to funnel gas into an un-permitted building that she illegally constructed in the backyard of 95 Clay in 2005. She allegedly would change the locks to the boiler room each day in an attempt to keep city officials out of the basement. In December, the city finally broke down the door and removed the entire gas meter; residents didn't have heat, hot water, or power to their stoves for 40 days.
"I took my showers at the YMCA," Andrew said. "That's what all of the tenants did." The video above wasn't the only time Nealis allegedly assaulted a different tenant when he confronted her over the conditions, as you can see in a second video below.
And this is just 95 Clay. The Thought Catalog piece, by Chloe Caldwell, documents her time living at 156 India Street, also run by Nealis. That includes the time she came home to find the building had been roped off by police, who told her: "The back wall of your building began to crumble and the third floor jutted out. The fire escape is falling off. One of the tenants called 911."
"156 India Street gave me anxiety to the point that for the next two years I didn't go anywhere without a backpack holding an extra pair of underwear and a piece of fruit," Caldwell wrote. When she and her roommate finally moved out, they wrote "a huge Fuck You Melina Nealis to our non-existent landlord on the wall in bright orange paint."
Pippenger and five other tenants of 95 Clay began a rent strike in January and have been actively fighting Nealis in court ever since: "We're hoping that the city will take over the building," Andrew added.