The owners of an Upper West Side apartment where an elderly man’s dead body was decomposing for two weeks say police won’t let cleaners in to fumigate the pad — so now they’re suing to clear the air.
The owners of the West 72nd Street unit filed the suit against the NYPD in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday.
They say the studio was first sealed off by cops on April 15, when the 80-year-old tenant’s remains were discovered inside by a building manager.
The man was believed to have died around April 1 — but his corpse wasn’t found until other residents complained of “a strong foul odor” coming from his unit, the suit states.
Cops removed the body and the building manager placed deodorizers inside and opened the windows “to try to alleviate the foul smell emanating from the bodily fluids,” according to the manager’s affidavit.
The manager then called the cops the next day, on April 16, seeking access so he could clean and fumigate the unit, after he received “multiple complaints from neighbors residing in apartments located on the same floor,” the court papers say.
But police said they couldn’t grant access to the apartment without a court order, the suit says. This is an NYPD protocol to protect the property of people who pass away while living alone, according to the department patrol guide.
“A terrible odor continues to emanate from the apartment and I am concerned that mice and other vermin might also be inside,” an affidavit from the building manager says.
The tenant had been living in a rent-stabilized unit for over a decade. He didn’t have any kids or a spouse, his sister told the building manager, giving him consent to enter the unit, the court filing says.
Now, Bank of America — the trustee for the owners — is asking a judge to grant it the right to have others go inside twice a month to inspect, clean, fumigate, exterminate and maintain the flat.
NYPD spokesperson Jessica McRorie said: “The NYPD will review the lawsuit if and when we are served.”
A lawyer for the bank declined to comment.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore