Village View ordered to return his keys after half-year lockout


BY GERARD FLYNN  | Ever since he returned home to a bedroom inferno on March 1, the management company and the board of directors at Village View, a middle-income co-op in the East Village, has been denying Bohdan Rekshynskyj (pronounced “wreck-shin-ski”) access, except in short and closely supervised visits, to the two-bedroom unit where he has lived since 1979.

His problems only worsened shortly after the blaze, when the 53-year-old was served with two holdover notices that, if upheld in court, would see him evicted due to complaints of hoarding, as well as “obnoxious odors” coming from his apartment — the latter which he strenuously denies. For legal reasons, neither Village View nor its lawyer would comment.

Usually, in such cases, a certification of eviction must first be obtained from a hearing officer at the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development before proceeding to Housing Court. But because of the “emergency nature” — the tenant’s allegedly cluttered apartment and odors — the agency granted a waiver in April, thus allowing the matter to go directly to Housing Court.

Village View’s eviction case hit a snag, however, last month when, over the co-op’s objections, Judge Sabrina Krauss ordered Rekshynskyj’s keys returned to him until a certification of eviction has been produced or when management has “some other legal authority to prevent access.”

Rekshynskyj is awaiting the appointment of a “guardian ad litem,” a pro bono legal adviser, or ward, whose goal is to “safeguard the rights and prevent the eviction of some of New York City’s most vulnerable people,” according to the New York City Housing Court’s Web site. A judge will often appoint a “GAL” when there is concern a tenant is unable to advocate for him- or herself, mostly due to health problems or age.

Although he confesses to being a messy person, Rekshynskyj told The Villager in June that his apartment is “not a hoarder place like you see on TV. I’m just messy by nature,” he said. “I’ve been to other apartments, and a lot of people are messier than I am,” he added.

Rekshynskyj, who is surviving on public assistance and currently living in a single-room occupancy (S.R.O.) hotel, told The Villager in June that despite promising his place would be cleaned after the fire, management had yet to do so.

The holdover case is adjourned till Oct. 24.