I received a message today from a former market rate tenant of Stuyvesant Town. It was sent as a comment to one of the blog posts ("Our Tenants Come First"), but it's certainly worthy to be brought out more into the open, as it addresses a critical issue in how the landlord deals with the market rate tenants in this complex when lease renewal comes around. So here it is:
As a market rate renter who recently moved out, I have to express my extreme irritation with ST on the move out of the complex. Comments before complaints:
- I always paid the rent on time.
- I was never a problem.
- I was happy there and the complex and my apartment were well maintained.
That said, here is what has happened:
- Stuy Town was essentially willing to lower our rent by around 10%, no more. They subsequently (less than a month later) lowered it by another approx 10% based on ads I have seen in the subway offering 2 months free. Apparently that is not being offered to good tenants.
- I wasted a ton of time just trying to figure out what the renewal would be if we stayed. ST, of course, made this extremely difficult by helpfully making the hours start at 10am to speak with a renewal person (Heather O'neill).
- Apparently the leasing office can't accept returned keys, which is a joke. I had to literally threaten them with making a stink in the leasing office before a "solution" could be found.
- ST just tagged us with almost $300 in "fees" for moving. There were two:
1. A $229.30 fee to replace a light fixture (a "globe"). It was broken and I never bothered to have it replaced. They had also given me a quote of $85 or $115 (I am not sure which) to replace it when I lived there. So ST is literally lying on the fees.
2. A $40.14 fee to pry a $15 taped mirror from the back of a closet. That might have taken 1 minute.
When I complained to ST, I was, again, helpfully referred to their legal department. I assume I will get screwed on these items. Give me a break.
I used to say good things about ST, but I won't anymore.
I understand that Tishman and BlackRock are underwater on their investment, I am sure many of these fees are designed to screw people as much as possible. That's fine, you are screwing yourselves long term, but of course you are so underwater you can't think straight.
I hope someone at ST is reading this comment.
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