December 1, 2022
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NYC mayor signs legislation to fight rats

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Mayor Eric Adams has signed legislation to address the city’s growing rat problem.

Friday’s news conference had almost as many rodent jokes as the number of rats running around the city.

“Ending this rat tale … No more Mickey Mouse … Thank you to my rat pack … Pizza rat, if you’re listening, pack your bags,” city officials said.

The city’s so-called war on rats centers around four pieces of legislation, including codifying the time garbage can be set out.

“You want to put black bags on the curb? Not before 8 p.m. You want to do it earlier? Great. You can do it at 6, but it has to be in a container,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch.

They also include the creation of rat mitigation zones. For construction permits, the applicant must certify a licensed exterminator was retained to treat the area. Other buildings with large rodent infestations must use approved rodent-resistant containers.

Residents at 25 MacDonough Street in Brooklyn remain skeptical it’ll help.

“We don’t have a very cooperative landlord,” a tenant said.

“We see them outside by the trash can all the time,” said another.

CBS2 first spoke with the tenants in October. They showed us rodent traps in their Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment building. They told us some repairs were made since our last report.

“They came and they fixed the hole where the rats were coming through,” a tenant said.

The property racked up hundreds of violations – some for pests.

An attorney for some of the tenants said she hears about pest issues all the time in New York City, as a lawyer specializing in landlord-tenant litigation.

“The delivery people are afraid to come in because the rats are guarding the doors and guarding the trash,” said attorney Altagracia Pierre-Outerbridge.

For now, all they can do is continue to wait and see if there’s any improvement.

“It’s terrible. Inhumane. Not good at all for the health and it’s very depressing. You gotta get up and see rats saying good morning to you, good night to you,” a tenant said.

That building still has no cooking gas after three years. The property owners were fined millions for not making repairs and have until January to pay.

The city said it’s testing other things to reduce the rat population, but didn’t elaborate.

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