Slumlord Dermot Company Installs New Boiler (For Four Days And Counting)

Last we checked, Daniel’s NYC apartment didn’t have any heat and he had to call his supervisor whenever he wanted to take a shower. Now there’s been some developments as the powerful love of Consumerist exposure melts the heart of the Dermot Company, aka, Snowmiser. Dan writes:

Dec 13th
On Monday, I returned home from work to discover an unexpected message from the city building inspector tucked under my door, stating that he had come to check on my heat and hot water, but that, since I wasn’t home, he’d check things out in a neighboring apartment.

I had no idea what would come of this notice, but then two days later (this evening to be precise), another notice appeared under my door announcing that Dermot will be replacing our now infamously busted boiler next Monday…

Mind you, our building manager told us at our tenant meeting last month that it would take weeks of work to replace the boiler, and that the entire time we’d have to have a noisy generator blaring outside, keeping us up nights. Interesting how those horrid weeks she described have now been reduced to a few short hours.

Like I said, the visit from the inspector was unexpected. I never did get around to filing any complaints with 311 (my lack of faith in government leads me to suspect they’d collect dust in a database somewhere).

Thus, I believe Consumerist is entirely responsible for these matters coming towards their resolution — responsible, in fact, for both the city and Dermot taking notice in the first place — and I am extremely grateful for your support on this issue.

Consumerist is truly the harbinger of corporate responsibility.

Thank you and happy holidays.

Dec 17

FYI, workmen are still here and the heat’s off … it’s 61 degrees in my apartment right now

Dec 20th
Boiler was supposed to be replaced Monday; it’s Thursday night @ 10pm, they’re still here making a racket and I’ve got ice cold water coming from the tap.

Dec 21
As of this morning, still no heat, no hot water. It’s 61 degrees in my apartment.

Will Dan ever get his heat on? Stay tuned for exciting developments, unless, of course, Dan develops frostbite of the fingers and is unable manipulate the keyboard to provide said developments.

Coldest Day Of Year. No Heat On. Thanks, Slumlord Dermot Company.
Stuck With Dermot Management, A Modern-Day Slumlord
More like Dermot Mismanagement [Orthodox Anarchist]


Edit Your Comment

  1. levenhopper says:

    Maybe he’ll call 311 now?

  2. Scazza says:

    Do what they used to do in the old days, boil a post of water, then pour it over you into the bath… lol…

    Good luck man, it shouldn’t take too long to replace a boiler, unless there is other work to be done.

  3. Unnamed Source says:

    Maybe I’m missing something….why not buy an electric space heater to provide some measure of heat temporarily…

  4. Buran says:

    @levenhopper: Definitely time; complain about how long they’re taking to fix their problem and how you STILL have no hot water.

  5. drjayphd says:

    @Scazza: You laugh, but I had to do that for three months when our furnace went tits-up. No fun at all, actually, the polar opposite of fun, if ya ask me.

  6. GothamGal says:

    His lack of faith in government is completely warranted. I didn’t have heat in LA for 5 days, so I called the Department of Housing and gave them my address. They told me that no such building existed and that it was an empty lot and therefore, I could not file a complaint. So continue to freeze your ass off.

  7. FLConsumer says:

    I wish him luck with that! This was definitely NOT the time of year to replace a boiler. Depending on what was already there (assuming it’s a pre-war building), it can take up to a week to replace a boiler.

  8. darkclawsofchaos says:

    @GothamGal: that could mean one of three things: the government is incompetent andhas their files/clerks/centers screwed up, someone has been gimping on taxes and say they live in an empty lot, or cardboard boxes usually don’t have hot running water.

  9. Erwos says:

    This is going to sound super-astroturf-ish, but my wife and I love Southern Management Company (SMC). We’ve lived in their buildings a few times, and they’re easily one of the most responsive companies we’ve ever dealt with. If something’s broken, they fix it, and they almost always fix it fast. They also tend not to screw you as hard on the rent increases. I get the impression that New York has a completely different mechanic when it comes to apartment management, though.

  10. brew400 says:

    he lives on seamen ave.

  11. forever_knight says:

    @brew400: :D

  12. captnkurt says:

    Well, in New York they say
    That The Landlord’s heart grew *three* sizes that day!
    Since the boiler had died sometime in the Fall,
    It went from invisible all the way up to Small!

    captn “Someone should smack him with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole” kurt

  13. ianmac47 says:

    Definitely he should call 311; 311 gets results, especially if multiple residents call.

  14. aparsons says:

    311 is seriously the best thing in NYC. I use it for anything from reporting cabs violating the passenger bill of rights to crosswalk signs being out. And within 24 hours, shit is fixed.

  15. @ianmac47: Agreed. Call 311. Have them send documentation in case he needs to go to court. And have his neighbours call as well!

  16. Yaotl says:

    311 works wonders. We didn’t have hot water coming out of the kitchen sink for months. Called 311 during fall and that problem was fixed very quickly.

  17. I live in 121 Seaman. The hot water is back and my furnace is starting to smell so I think it’s working. Also, some of you might be interested to learn that up here in Inwood, Seaman Avenue intersects with Cumming Street as well as with Dyckman. There’s a staff street around here somewhere, too. Dirty Dutch.

  18. Rock-Ola 443 says:

    “Call his supervisor”? Man, that’s some strict office. I mean, I usually let my boss know if I’m going to be taking a long lunch, but I’ve never had to get his permission to take a shower.

    (Note to those reading who got here after the inevitable correction: at the time I wrote this there was a funny mistake in the article.)

  19. IrisMR says:

    geeze. How hard can it be to install a boiler?

  20. azntg says:

    @aparsons: Agreed. I do the same all the time. Noise complaints, traffic light issues, broken glass on crosswalks. One call to 311 and they get fixed (usually in a reasonable amount of time). It’s definitely one thing Bloomberg did right.

    @Alleywag: I love New York’s Dutch heritage for that reason. Too bad most of them are forgotten though.

  21. BStu says:

    He says its 61 like its a bad thing. That’s what I keep my apartment at. Put on a sweater!

    But seriously, call the city and check tenant rights law. You may be able to deduct these days from your next rent check.

  22. Pope John Peeps II says:

    Well, seeing as this is Consumerist, someone has to post the obligatory:

    So, this guy is living in an apartment, and expects to have HOT WATER and HEAT? What the hell? If you really want those things, why don’t you live in a geothermal spring? GOD. The NERVE of some people.

    It’s TOTALLY your fault. Jerk.

  23. t6283798 says:

    just adding to the chorus–311 works.

    a good friend of mine lives in a LES building where the heat/hot water “mysteriously” goes out regularly throughout the winter (the landlord is trying to inspire his rent controlled residents to vacate, so he can jack the rent up to market value). She calls 311 and it’s always back on in a day.

    311 also works because they keep track of the number of complaints made in reference to a particular building, etc–after a certain amount the city will start procedures of seizing/condemning it, in extreme cases.

  24. I have experienced what Daniel is experiencing and the way I got results was to contact my local representatives and the media.

    wHEN i ended up on the cover of the NY Daily News is when the city got so involved I thought they were my parents.

    Consumerist is great but to enhance the results you need the help of other media outlets as well.

  25. bbbici says:

    This is a perfect job for “The Equalizer”.

  26. synergy says:

    Sorry, but 61 degrees is called “fair weather temperature” even down here in Texas. If it was below 40 then it would be cold, but even then you can put on a couple of sweaters. The only issue I’d be pissed off about would be the ice showers. Otherwise, you don’t need to have the temperature so cranked up in the apartment.

  27. mopar_man says:


    Give it a try once and see how long it takes you. FLConsumer is correct on the time if it’s an old building.

    As for 61°, that’s hardly cold. Put a sweater on or buy a space heater for $30 and suck it up. The last apartment I lived in wouldn’t get warmer than 60° even with the heat running because it couldn’t keep up on the really cold days. The cold showers are a fair complaint though.

  28. theblackdog says:

    @Erwos: I can assume that you live in the DC/MD/NoVA area.

    I loved living in an SMC apartment, they were quick to make sure everything was taken care of. Much better than the AIMCO apartment I used to live in.

  29. For those criticizing my complaint of it being 61 degrees, according to NYC housing regulations, “If it is less than 55 degrees outside between 6 AM and 10 PM, inside temperature must be at least 68 degrees.” My point isn’t that it’s unbearably cold. It’s that my landlord is violating city housing code.

  30. m4ximusprim3 says:

    61 seems plenty cold to me. Granted i’m from socal, but it seems like that’s cold enough to be uncomfortable.

    Oh, and it apparently violates the law, so there is that too.

  31. Sonnymooks says:

    I recently got a new tenant who used to have Dermot has his landlord.

    Basically, every single solitary technique or legal remedy that would work against a small landlord or mom and pop, or something similiar does not work with them.

    Its like they are immune and bullet proof, the politicians hate dermot and can’t touch them.

  32. stre says:

    ha, he says 61 is cold. in order to save money when i was in college, we turned the heat completely off, relying on the heat from the flat below us to keep our pipes from freezing. i would regularly wake up to a 50 degree room.

    that being said, my landlord was awesome, as opposed to this dermot company. good luck dan.

  33. taz757 says:

    @theblackdog: I must agree about living in AIMCO apartments. I’m currently living in one and I’m honestly less than impressed with them and repairing damage in a timely manner and coming up with excuses as to why it hasn’t been done yet.

    I moved in a week and a half ago to my new place. Before moving in, we did the whole walkthru thing, which it was pointed out that there was prior water damage to the ceiling (I live in the 3rd floor apt) and that it was repaired. You can see the spot on the ceiling where they painted over it with Killz.

    Well, I hadn’t lived here even a week (moved in Tues) and late Sat night/early Sun morning (about 3am), my roof decided to spring a god damned leak! I had to run and get a pot to catch the rainwater coming through and now I’ve got 2 very nice water spots on the ceiling.

    I notified maintenance Sunday afternoon, after they opened up and even watched the girl put in the maintenance trouble ticket as she called one of the guys to let him know about it. They said they couldn’t get to it Monday, which was understandable, gut would get to it early in the week. Friday came and gone and I hadn’t heard anything from anybody about them at least even coming by my apartment to take a look at the damage, so I called to find out wtf was going on. The girl on the other phone had the audacity to ask if I had been in the apartment since Sunday! Um, of course sweetheart, I have – I LIVE THERE! She tells me she’ll look into it and have someone get back with me. I get a phone call back from the head maintenance guy about 530 or so, so he can give me a runaround …

    The story is that they’re currently ‘restructuring’ the maintenance at my property and he had only been on the job for just 2 days and so he was trying to come up to speed with what was left behind. That, and because it’s the holidays, he’s got a ‘skeleton crew’ so he’ll try and get it taken care of as soon as he can. Also, his people aren’t allowed on the roof because of insurance purposes and need to bring in a roofing contractor. Okay. I can live with that. But not hearing anything from anybody is a little rediculous. He even told me that when someone comes by, they’re supposed to leave a note that they’ve been by and what was done, and then one goes in the maintenance log. He asked me if I got my copy and promptly told him no and asked if he got his copy and there was silence for about a minute as he came up with an excuse.

    The whole thing that really frustrates me about this whole thing is that the property knew of prior damage already before I moved in and it was supposedly repaired. It really doesn’t look like it is as the current water spots are in the exact same spots of the older ones. You can see where they were painted over. I’m really worried as we’re supposed to be expecting rain over the next few days and I don’t need it leaking on me *again*. Because every time it leaks and my ceiling gets wet, I’ve got to wait another 7-10 days before maintenance can come in and paint because they have to wait for the ceiling to dry out. I understand with the holidays and all, people are on vacation, so a dead lightbulb can wait. But, when it’s the roof, someone should be on call to try and get the damage at least inspected in a timely manner.

    I’m going to see if I can’t get a free month rent, or at least discounted rent, if this continues. This is ludicrious.

  34. theblackdog says:

    @taz757: Good luck, they technically owed me $678 of free rent because it took them 23 days after I notified them of my broken back door that they fixed it, did I ever see a penny of it? Nope!

    I wish I had been reading Consumerist when the A/c broke for 5 days in the middle of July, the thermostat was up into the 90F markings, and then I would have known to call the health department or some other organization to get them to stop saying “We’ll send an engineer out”