West Side Tenants Threaten Rent Strike Over Repair Dispute

CHICAGO (CBS) — Tenants of an apartment building that’s in foreclosure in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side say they’re fed up and are threatening a rent strike.

The tenants of the 32-unit building, located at Laramie and West End avenues, say the building’s furnace was ripped out and stolen, and say the building’s receiver has not replaced it.

The tenants say that electrical outlets spark, that the roof and floors are soft in spots, that water service was shut out for months until finally restored two months ago, and that appliances and repair work promised by the receiver never materialize.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Some tenants, such as Pamela Johnson, say they signed leases only after being told work would be done. She says they’re still waiting.

“Do I continue to pay rent or do I not pay rent?” she asked. “I’m in a stalemate because I don’t know what to do. All I’m asking is for them to fix things right. Stop playing people.”

Johnson says when she was promised a working refrigerator she bought $500 worth of food the day it was to arrive, only to have to put it on the porch and let it spoil.

WBBM was attempting to reach the receiver, First Western Properties, for comment.

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