From the Tenants Association:
An investigation by the NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman into the leasing practices of CWCapital has resulted in settlement for affected tenants. Those affected need to act quickly with a deadline of June 30th.
The New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has stepped in to address a deceptive practice in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
The Tenants Association was outraged by the mid-lease increases announced by CWCapital on May 15, made even worse by the fact that leasing agents had promised many tenants that no such increases would ever happen. We were committed to fighting back and are pleased to report a significant victory.
After receiving a complaint by our City Councilman and neighbor Dan Garodnick, the Attorney General conducted an investigation into the representations being made by CWCapital leasing agents to prospective renters.
The Tenants Association worked diligently over the past few weeks with Councilman Garodnick to identify affected tenants who were misled, and to ask them to share their stories. We were extremely pleased to see that the Attorney General took this matter seriously and pushed CWCapital to a positive outcome.
CWCapital settled the issue with the Attorney General by promising to roll back mid-lease increases for any tenant who was told by a leasing agent-either verbally or in writing-that their rent would not go up in the middle of the term. CWCapital also committed to not implementing any further mid-lease rent increases.
Over the weekend, CompassRock (on behalf of CWCapital) distributed a letter and affidavit under the doors of the affected tenants. If you got one of those letters, you should fill it out. If a leasing agent told you-in any way-that your rent would not go up in the middle of your lease, you need to explain that in as much detail as you can recall.
You will need to bring the unsigned affidavit to a notary, sign the affidavit in presence of the notary, and send it back by June 30.
We repeat and clarify the instructions (below) for tenants who want to act now.
Commenting on the settlement,
Stuyvesant Town - Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association President John Marsh said, "We appreciate the Attorney General's taking the important action that he did. The allegations of misrepresentations were serious and numerous. We urge all those who received either written or verbal assurances that their rent would not be increased mid-lease to sign and return the affidavit." Tenants Association Board Chair Susan Steinberg added, "This is another example of the TA's strength in advocating for tenants. That strength lies in our ability to organize, to communicate, and to provide forums for tenants to share ideas and information. That's what makes participating as a member key."
TO TENANTS WHO RECEIVED THE LETTER AND AFFIDAVIT
This is a formal document that has been approved by the Attorney General. By signing this document and sharing your story, you very likely will be able to keep your rent from going up before the end of the lease term.
Here is what you need to do:
Complete the affidavit and sign it in front of a notary public. If you have an e-mail or other correspondence with a renting agent, attach it. If you simply recall a conversation on the matter of the mid-lease clause, write about it in the space provided.
Take the affidavit and any supporting material to be notarized. You must appear in person to sign and show photo ID. To facilitate this process, Tenants Association volunteers with a notary's license will be available, at no charge, at the Community Center Tuesday, June 18, Thursday, June 20, and Tuesday, June 25, between 6:00 and 8:00 pm., Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23 between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. Please note that a notary only affirms your signature, not the content of the document.
(If you have discarded the material that came under your door, thinking it was a ruse, you can pick up a new affidavit at the Community Center at those hours) or print out the letter and affidavit linked here.
Return the notarized affidavit and support material, if any,
by June 30th to:
Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York
Attn: Elissa Rossi
Real Estate Finance Bureau
120 Broadway, 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10271
Send a copy of this affidavit to:
PCVST Legal Department
Attention: Roberts Administrator
317 Avenue C
New York, NY 10009
Important: Your response must be postmarked no later than June 30, 2013
See the Attorney General's press release detailing the investigation and settlement here.
Me: Congratulations to the TA and Councilman Garodnick for pressing on this matter and thanks to the NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman!