RED BANK: LAUNDROMAT TO REOPEN

117 monmouth 040916 1retail churn smallFour months after the Brownstone Dry Cleaner and Laundromat on Monmouth Street in Red Bank was evicted over tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent, the self-serve laundromat portion of the operation is expected to reopen soon under new management, one of the building’s owners tells redbankgreen. Nearly all dry-cleaned clothing left behind by the former tenant has been returned to customers, and the storefont at the corner of Pearl Street remains available for lease, the owner said. (Click to enlarge)

COLONY HOUSE RENT COMPLAINTS MOUNT

colony-house-2008A plan to convert the Colony House failed, leading to a return to rentals, and new-tenant complaints about jacked-up rents. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Following a pattern reported on by redbankgreen back in June, the owner of the Colony House apartments has continued to illegally raise rents on tenants, some of whom may be afraid to pursue legal recourse, members of the Red Bank Rent Leveling Board said Thursday.

At their monthly meeting in a nearly empty council chambers, board members said that about eight residents had filed formal complaints in recent months alleging that the landlord, Park Ridge LLC of Lakewood, had rescinded incentive discounts given to new tenants since 2009, and then imposed cost-of-living improvements on the new base rent.

Only the cost-of-living adjustments are permitted under the borough rent ordinance, said board attorney Gene Anthony.

“We had three complaints in September alone,” said board chairman Vincent Light.

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A ROOF LEAKS, AND BITTERNESS FLOWS

bakhet-011911Youssef Bahket with pails of water collected beneath a hole in the ceiling at Brownstone Cleaners. (Click to enlarge)

brownstone-011911

A roof leak at a Red Bank laundry shop early Tuesday ruined customer garments and may have caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment damage, the owners say.

It also unleashed a torrent of accusations between the owners and their landlord.

According to borough fire department officials who investigated the incident Tuesday morning, the leak was one of many caused by a combination of heavy rain and ice-blocked downspouts, some of which have tripped alarms.

But Youssef Bahket of Brownstone Cleaners claims that today’s leak is just the latest in a series of leaks dating back years that the building’s landlord has refused to fix. He said he went to the police station out of desperation, prompting a visit by safety inspectors and the fire department— also the latest in a series.

In reply, landlord Linda DeAngelis, who lives above the business, says Bahket is “an arrogant, conniving liar” who “lied” to officials by claiming the roof had collapsed in two places when it is merely leaking, a problem she says she’s racing to fix.

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