Rhode Island’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Pioneer Investments LLC and its president, Anurag Sureka, alleging that their properties pose serious health and safety risks to tenants, Your Content has learned.
The lawsuit, filed in Providence County Superior Court, accuses the landlord of violating state rental, lead hazard, and consumer protection laws.
Pioneer Investments owns and operates over 175 residential rental units across Rhode Island.
The company has been accused of routinely disregarding lead hazard laws, landlord-tenant regulations, and housing code requirements.
Attorney General Peter Neronha stated that the landlord engages in unfair and deceptive trade practices, prioritizing profits over the well-being of Rhode Islanders.
The lawsuit aims to compel Pioneer to address all lead hazards at its properties, cease dangerous housing practices, and appoint an independent monitor to ensure compliance.
Additionally, tenants have reported issues such as rodent infestations, deteriorating building structures, cracked walls, broken windows, and intermittent loss of water and heat.
According to the state Department of Health, at least 11 children living in Pioneer’s properties have shown detectable levels of lead, and five children have suffered from lead poisoning.
Reclaim RI, an organization advocating for social and economic justice, has rallied support for Pioneer’s tenants, who have endured substandard conditions amidst rising rents.
Reclaim RI tenant organizer Shana Crandell expressed satisfaction with the lawsuit, considering it a significant victory for Pioneer tenants and all working-class individuals facing housing challenges in Rhode Island. Pioneer Investments has not yet issued a formal response to the lawsuit, according to AP News.