An apartment building in Middle Village has a few new tenants: pigeons.
Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, has received complaints from residents that a window to a vacant apartment has been left open, allowing pigeons to fly in and out as they please.
“The owner of this building has allowed this apartment to be a home for pigeons; it sadly demonstrates how little he cares about the building tenants, property and neighborhood,” Holden said.
According to the Department of Buildings website, the owner of the building at 84-53 Dana Court is Highpoint Associates, a California-based company that owns a number of properties in the area including several vacant storefronts on Woodhaven Boulevard.
A representative from Highpoint Associates was not able to comment on the matter.
The pigeon problem is one of many complaints made against the owner. As the Chronicle reported several weeks ago, the vacant storefronts on Woodhaven between Dana Court and 63rd Road have caused controversy.
“The owner has been described as a slumlord by many of his tenants and neighbors; unfortunately they may be right,” Holden said.
“That just looks bad on the owner’s part,” Grace Liu, who regularly passes by the building on her way home from work, said. “I wouldn’t want to live there in the summer with the pigeons there. I can only imagine the smell that would creep through the vents and fill up the whole building. But I’m not really surprised. I have heard of landlords doing much worse to tenants.”
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, echoed a similar disgust over the pigeons.
“You know, I’m just getting sick of it,” the resident said. “They’ve started nesting and it’s just nasty at this point. We pay rent when we’re supposed to. We hold up our end of the bargain, so the landlord should hold up his end and take care of his building.”
“I didn’t even know that they were there,” Heather Gurney, who lives nearby, said. “I mean, I want to say that maybe the landlord didn’t notice the pigeons because it really does look like a person is living there and they left their window open. At the same time, I think it’s the landlord’s job to be aware of things like this. I’m sure the people living here have at least mentioned it in passing.”
According to Holden, the JPCA had reached out to the DOB to ask if there was a way to handle the pigeon problem without having to go through the owner.
The DOB referred the civic association to the Department of Health, which handles matters of sanitation and animal infestation in buildings.
The Department of Health reported that no complaints have been submitted by tenants or neighbors regarding the pigeons on Dana Court.
The agency will be inspecting the location in the near future and asks that residents lodge complaints with 311.
“Hopefully this will go away soon,” Liu said. “I’m not a fan of pigeons so hearing that they’re just living in an apartment is making my skin crawl. It’s so gross.”