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Tenants Say Landlord Has Lost It, But What Can They Do?

IMG_0148Stephen Rex Brown The door to Martha Fedorko’s apartment.

East Village landlords often make for easy villains. Just ask State Senator Thomas Duane about Benjamin Shaoul, the Shalom family, and Alistair Economakis. But the residents of 510 East Sixth Street face a particularly vexing situation.

IMG_0142Stephen Rex Brown 510 East Sixth Street.

By most accounts their landlord, Martha Fedorko, was once a generous owner and accomplished doctor who helped out tenants when she could. Luc Sante wrote all of “Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York,” in the building, and thanks her in the acknowledgements of the book published in 1992. “She was absolutely the best landlord I ever had,” said Mr. Sante, who now lives in Kingston, N.Y.

But residents say that as she has grown old, Ms. Fedorko has started cutting their electricity for no reason, telling them to vacate their apartments at random times, menaced one of them with her cane, and left inscrutable letters in the hallway. Read more…