Dear John: My reason for writing: In the last five years my property taxes have risen over 100 percent, despite the fact that my home is adjacent to a foreclosed property that is occupied by drug-dealing squatters openly selling illegal narcotics.
These squatters continue to inflict horrific adversity on my quality of life. I cannot open my windows due to the stench of illegal narcotics constantly burning and wafting into my home, causing me severe headaches and nausea.
Repeated calls to 311 regarding this condition have been ignored.
My home has been broken into twice by addicts buying drugs from this home next door. My calls to 911 and the New York Police Department have repeatedly been ignored, as I was told that the crimes of breaking in to my home are “not serious enough” for them to make arrests or even investigate.
This is despite having clear surveillance-camera recordings, visibly damaged property (broken windows) and a handwritten physical threat left behind. In fact, the NYPD refused to even look at the footage.
The driveway that I am forced to share with a blighted house filled with squatters is home to urinating drug addicts using it as their toilet.
My safety has been repeatedly threatened by armed drug dealers, whom I have photographed with large amounts of illegal narcotics and illegal handguns — photos that I forwarded to an NYC councilman whom I trust.
He then forwarded them to the NYPD precinct where I live.
This specific drug dealer was even arrested for armed robbery last winter, but was released, and his criminal case was dropped entirely.
Calls to the Community Board have all been met with utter indifference. Numerous calls to US Bank, their foreclosure department and [attorneys] have been ignored.
Out of desperation I ed the NYC Public Advocate and explained to them the terrorism I have been facing, only to be told that I “should sell the house and take whatever I could get for it.” S.C.
Dear S.C. Wow, that’s quite a story.
And it gets even worse, but I couldn’t run your whole tale.
I tracked down the correct owner of the house in question and found out it wasn’t the bank S.C. believed it was.
But I did the correct bank and alert it to the dangerous situation.
Then I called the NYPD Commissioner’s office for him, and the precinct was called and ordered to pay attention. (I learned from the TV show “Blue Bloods” that you always get results by calling the commissioner, which in the show’s case is Tom Selleck, when he’s not selling reverse mortgages in commercials.)
This all took many months. But, finally, S.C. tells me that the city’s marshal’s office recently showed up and evicted the squatters. He even sent me pictures of the moving trucks.
However, S.C. still doesn’t seem satisfied. He expects somehow to get his real-estate tax lowered.
Well, good luck with that one.
He’s on his own there.
Dear John: Two years ago, my wife and I arrived at Tampa Airport and rented a midsize car from Enterprise.
It was then we were informed that EZ Pass does not work in Florida because they have Sun Pass. For an extra $20 per day they could put a Sun Pass tag in the car. Since we were only going to an attraction near Orlando for one day, I declined the Sun Pass.
The young employee even told us if we happened to go through two or three tolls without paying it would be OK, and Enterprise would waive the tolls and not charge us. The day we drove near Orlando, we encountered three toll booths. The first one I paid in coins, then went to the attraction. On the way back there were two more tolls.
But I didn’t have any change, and nobody was working in the booth. The only options were to pay with change or use Sun Pass. So we proceeded through each without paying and didn’t think it was a big deal, since each toll was only $2.
A few days later we returned the car, and the employee said nothing to us about unpaid tolls. Three weeks later I received a letter from a collection agency saying I owed a whopping $104! It was $4 for the tolls and a $100 service charge from Enterprise. And they said if the payment wasn’t received in 14 days they would report it to credit agencies.
Please let your Northeast readers know that EZ Pass is not accepted in Florida and be sure to bring a lot of change for the tolls, especially if you’re driving a rental car.
Thank you and best regards. T.L.
Dear T.L. Yeah, I’ve heard about this scheme. The car rental companies really need to be investigated.
Even when they simply charge you for using Sun Pass they don’t give you the discount that they get. One charge on top of another — someday they are going to get Ubered and everything will change. And, you know what? Nobody is going to have any sympathy for them.
They need to be investigated, and they need a class action suit filed against them.