Legal Right to Safe and Healthy Housing – Vazquez v. Gilbert

The suit was filed by Philadelphia resident Yazmin Vazquez against her former landlord, Marc A. Gilbert, and his property management company, Obara Investment Realty Advisors, LLC. The suit alleges that Gilbert and Obara failed to provide Ms. Vazquez with a habitable property and failed to provide her the required certification of habitability. By March 2016, the Department of Licenses and Inspections determined that the property was unfit for human habitation. When Ms. Vazquez tried to stand up to Gilbert and Obara on her own they retaliated against her by attempting to illegally lock her out of her apartment, and then by making false statements in an eviction lawsuit in Philadelphia landlord-tenant court. (That suit was withdrawn as soon as Ms. Vazquez secured legal counsel.)

“My apartment made me physically sick and I was stressed out all the time,” said Ms. Vazquez.

“Windows cracked from the intense cold, the smell of raw sewage made me sick to my stomach, and mice and rats ate my food. I am filing this lawsuit not just for myself but for all tenants in the same boat. Bad landlords will do this again and again—to the next tenant and the one after that—until the law stops them. No one should have to live like this.”

Ms. Vazquez's Apartment
Left: Raw sewage leaked into Ms. Vazquez’s basement; Right: Rodent Burrows

Case Resources

Case Progress

October 2016
Preliminary Objections in Safe and Healthy Housing Case Overruled

September 2016
Preliminary Objections Filed

August 2016
Lawsuit Filed

Staff on the Case
Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg
Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg