A prominent Westchester landlord with more than 70 fire and housing code summonses on his record tried to fight the law, and the law won.
The City of Yonkers’ top fire and building code scofflaw and landlord, Aurielo Assuncao, was arrested late last week after avoiding bench warrants from more than 70 housing and fire code summonses that have been issued by the Fire Department and Department of Housing and Buildings.
Assuncao was taken into police custody on Friday, Jan. 18 and held for code violations at the five properties he owned or once owned.
According to Yonkers officials, over the past eight years, Assuncao has owned properties at 6, 8, 9 and 13 Riverview Place and 141 Beech Street. The property owner has been issued over 70 code summonses that have resulted in warrants. Violations at these properties have included illegal apartments, no second means of egress, non-working or non-existent smoke and carbon monoxide alarms along with numerous other violations of the Fire and Buildings Codes.
The arrest came days after Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and Yonkers Councilwoman Corazon Pineda-Isaac announced plans to target landlords who ignore fire and building codes and subject their properties to condemnation.
According to the proposed legislation, “should the condition of a building rise to the need for relocation of its residents as a result of negligent or intentional acts of the building owner and the City of Yonkers incurs expenses to house and feed the tenants, the landlord must reimburse costs incurred by the city.”
“Let this be a sounding alarm to landlords in Yonkers; we will not stand for individuals who dodge the system and put our residents in harm’s way,” Spano said. “You will be charged to the fullest extent of the law – you will be held accountable for the mistreatment of the homes you provide to your tenants. Mr. Assuncao leads the list of top property owner violators. The action taken today is just one example of how Yonkers is cracking down on the deadbeat owners who think they are above the law.”
Officials said that there are currently over 75 property owners listed as repeat offenders of Yonkers Fire and Building Codes.
“All of Mr. Assuncao’s violations fall within the 2nd district of Yonkers, so this is a major victory for the residents of southwest Yonkers,” Pineda-Isaac added. “Landlords should take this as a warning that they, too, can be arrested for failure to provide adequate housing and failure to respond to city code violations. I am happy Mayor Mike Spano has supported my call to hold landlords accountable. Today’s arrest is a sign that such actions by landlords will no longer be tolerated in the City of Yonkers”.
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