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Saturday, October 26, 2013

The MCIs



This may turn out to be a pinned post during this time when we are being hit with one outrageous MCI after another. At this point, I would strongly urge everyone to follow the TA Facebook page and also the TA website for the latest information. Also, if you haven't donated to the TA, please do so. It is CRUCIAL that we stick together to fight these MCI charges and retroactive payments which are going to financially burden the true middle class among us. I'll be posting more on this entire matter in the near future.

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If you get a MCI letter, the TA requests that you fill out the following simple forms:

If you live in Peter Cooper Village:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EU11i3F4pP7bS1874A8mQj1Mn3Ma-ME21jBjBWRmMMg/viewform

If you live in Stuyvesant Town:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16AnfkNH-V9dqPuvOg1k3wxKxOVCJRYduWs06hT3olDA/viewform 



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10/28/2013.  Do our filthy rich landlords really need MCIs to improve PCVST?  Or is it just a way to pass the buck to tenants while making their property more valuable, with the ability to promote "luxury" housing and sell rentals at higher and higher prices?  Why are middle-class tenants here paying for their own removal and destruction?  I can see the value of MCIs for struggling landlords who must, somehow, improve their buildings, but is this true in reference to Tishman-Speyer and CWCapital regarding PCVST?  With all the wasteful money being spent on landscaping? And "events"?... The Ice Rink?  And why are the new rents, with the added MCIs, solidified without being rolled back once the MCIs are paid for?

This is a beautiful scam for our landlords and others like them.  Get tenants to finance unnecessary upgrades to a property and then sit back and watch the rents increase.  No wonder these guys have shit-eating grins when photographed.

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I keep reading on the TA Facebook about Pataki, Pataki, Pataki whenever pro-landlord legislation is mentioned.  Well, Pataki hasn't been in office since 2006. Here are the governors that followed him--all Democrats, btw: Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson, Andrew Cuomo.  Guess when Tishman-Speyer bought PCVST?  2006.  Since then we've had the progressive and deliberate eradication of the middle class in PCVST, and our position here is getting worse every year.

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Although I have some doubts about Bill de Blasio on some major issues, I think he may be the last hope of the middle class in Manhattan--if he keeps to his promises and let's his "radical" temperament take precedence. Mayor Bloomberg has been not only useless but harmful in keeping the middle class in Manhattan, and our City Council weak and too pro-real estate.  And, yes, I include our councilman, Dan Garodnick, in that mix.  What's necessary is a bold, uncompromising revolution in how this city deals with real estate entities and affordable housing, a revolution which de Blasio can possibly lead. If he goes soft or, worse, caves in to the real estate lobby, we and New York have had it.  Finito, Benito.

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10/28/2013 Evening Update:  Town & Village reports on the MCIs.


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10/30/2013 Update: The Tenants Association will hold a meeting this Saturday, November 2, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, in the auditorium of Simon Baruch Intermediate School 104, East 20th Street between First and Second Avenues. Topic of discussion: the MCIs, of course.  TA lawyer Tim Collins, our councilman Dan Garodnick, our state assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Brad Hoylman should be present.  Seating is first come, first served. I expect to find out just how we are going to get screwed and why.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just in time for Halloween - Uncle Festus and Lurch.

Anonymous said...

Correction, I meant Uncle Fester and Lurch. Take Jerry's toupe off and you've got Uncle Fester. Robbie, poor dear, is a dead ringer for Lurch. "Thing" is running around, popping MCI orders in our mailboxes. Anybody know a good exorcist?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

They do look like Uncle Fester and Lurch, don't they?

JERRYS FAT ASS said...

FEE FI FO FUM
20 MCIs HERE THEY COME!
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO LOVE YOUR HOVEL
YOUNG ROBERT AND I POP UP
LIKE WHACK A MOLE
HE NEEDS TO STOP SITTING ON THAT GAME
AS YOU WERE!

Anonymous said...

My form says the TA already objected to these MCI's but they (in large part) are being OKed by the DHCR or whatever they are called these days anyway. What can the TA do about them now that they couldn't or should'nt have done already? What can Dan Garodnick, for that matter, do now? This is clearly political payback by the Bloomberg administration (including the City council of which Dan Garodnick is a member) to a big financial supporter (the real estate cabal). Look at Garodnick's fund raising lists and you'll see all these guys names all over it!

Anonymous said...

Just in time for Halloween Jerry and Robbie have returned to torment us

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to blame Dan Goradnick.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 341pm
These MCIs have nothing to do with the City Council or Bloomberg. The DHCR which approved these MCIs is a NYS agency.Blame Cuomo

Anonymous said...

3:41 PM

The DHCR is a State Agency. It is filled with hacks hired during the Pataki Administration tasked with approving/disapproving MCI applications. Again, it is a state agency, so it is not overseen by the mayor or City Council. What our elected reps can do is put political pressure on Gov Cuomo, who does oversee DHCR.

You should be aware that our attorney has challenged the enforcability of the first 2 MCIs, as both ignored all his/our objections to the applications. There's no official word yet from the TA regarding the latest MCI (for Resurfacing/Water Tank).

This is the time to stick together, not make wild accusations based on misinformation. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

How does one know the last rent paid before renovations done here?

How do you find out the legal rent for an apartment? thanks

Anonymous said...

Why retroactive amounts due?

So if one is a brand new tenant, they have to pay for 3 prior years when someone else had intercom?

wha????

Anonymous said...

11:05 PM

MCIs begin at point landlord's application is filed. If you don't file a PAR, you begin paying the MCI right away. If you file a PAR, you don't begin paying until the application is approved and litigated in State Supreme Court (if it comes to that). So if the MCI tskes 6 years to approve, the landlord has the right, by law, to collect fees retroactively from you if you filed a PAR.

NOTE: Any and all MCI rent increases cannot, by law, exceed 6 percent of your rent/year.

Anonymous said...

Do these MCIs effect all tenants, or just the rent stabilized ones?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

After the Roberts decision, I believe that technically we are all rent-stabilized, not matter what rent we pay.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the retroactive rent increase, which has already been asked but not explicitly answered, do new tenants have to pay retroactive rent for a time period when they weren’t in the apartment. For example, the MCI dates back to mid-2009 but someone moved in at the beginning of 2013 would this person be paying the retroactive rent from mid-2009 (when the MCI was filed) or from the start of the tenancy (beginning of 2013)?

Anonymous said...

A lot of MCI questions can be answered by going to the TA website (see specific link below). And pls contribute to the TA, they are not perfect but who is. STR, TA FB posters have bought our current governor, Andrew Cuomo, into the MCI horror mix as well. We all need to flood him with letters since Cuomo appointed Darryl Towns as commissioner of the DHCR. The fish rots from the head down.

http://www.stpcvta.org/kb/25/

Anonymous said...

"After the Roberts decision, I believe that technically we are all rent-stabilized, not matter what rent we pay."

Do these MCI increases effect the Roberts tenants or just the old tenants?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I believe the retroactive payments are to be paid by whoever is in the apartment now. The apartment goes up in price, like an entity. When one signs a lease here, there should be something in it about possible upcoming MCIs.

BIGMO said...

For info on MCI increases check the link below:

http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/factsheets/orafac24.htm

The legal resident of an apartment who is the lessee between the effective date and the issue date of the DHCR order granting the MCI increase is responsible for the retro payment.

Anonymous said...

http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/faq/rents.html

According to this, under the question "What is an MCI increase?", the last paragraph states

"The temporary retroactive increase covers the time period between the tenant's date of notification and the agency's approval order."

This would imply that if you are a new tenant the retroactive rent goes back to the day you signed your first lease.


Roger R said...

Regarding your Pataki, Pataki Pataki comment.

A sweeping pro-tenant bill re-writing rent regulations in tenants favor was almost passed in the State Senate in the 2009 session while Paterson was governor and the Democrats had, for the first time in decades, a slight majority. A re-working of the MCI law was likely in the bill, vacancy decontrol definitely was. The bill had been bottled up in the Housing Committee by its chairman, Pedro Espada (He got that chair by threatening to switch sides early on in the session if he didn't get it). Tenant activists had been leaning heavily on Majority Leader Malcolm Smith to get the bill out of Espada's committee and onto the floor. Smith finally got a promise from Espada that it would go to the floor on Tue June 9. Mike McKee said he had the votes to get it passed. Then on Mon afternoon June 8, Espada and fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrate of Queens flipped to join the Republicans, giving the GOP the majority back and the pro-tenant bill died. Make no mistake the REBNY backed, GOP led coup was *all* about killing the first piece of pro-tenant legislation to hit the state senate in years.

See here for more: ndlords-get-a-reprieve-2/

If you want to find out what's held up rent reform in NY since then, just contact Mike McKee from Real Rent Reform. He'd probably be happy to explain it to you and your readers.

One other thing. The coup should not have come as such a shock. For years demographics in NY State have been shifting Democrat. Former GOP Speaker Joe Bruno came up with one workaround to that problem. Recruit DINOs (Dems In Name Only) and run them in solidly Democratic districts -- they would be held in reserve should the Dems eventually take the majority. Back in 2009, those DINOs were Carl Kruger, Pedro Espada, Ruben Diaz and Hiram Monserrate. When you speak to Mr McKee, ask him about the Gang of Four's 2013 counterparts (hello State Senators Jeffrey D. Klein and Diane J. Savino?).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, Roger R. Lot of [now] jailbirds involved in all that anti-tenant malarky. I think that any legislation pushed through or held back by someone who was later found guilty of a crime that took place during the miscreant's tenure (even if it wasn't connected to said legislation) should be revisited and put to the vote. Our destinies should not be decided by people who active criminals because they wouldn't have been allowed to hold office if the truth had been known about them. Does that make any sense?

Roger R said...

The link in my earlier comment got mangled in the cut and paste. Here it is in full: http://observer.com/2009/06/after-the-coup-landlords-get-a-reprieve-2/

Roger R said...

2:31 PM

Pro tenant rent legislation will not see the light of day again in the State Senate (a) until the GOP are in the minority and (b) unless the Democrats can keep the DINOs among them in check. The Assembly will pass it, but then we also need a governor who will sign it.

Anonymous said...

Just received a bulletin under my door from the TA. In it they addressed several questions regarding conversion which seemed to me contradictory. On the one hand, they say that they can't know price per square foot because they don't know what the sale price will be (understandable). On the other hand they say that that Stuytown can never remain as a rental "even if all the future landlord wanted to do was break even." "simple arithmetic won't allow it". How can the TA know this unless they know what the sale price will be? Obviously we know that 5.4 billion would preclude them from doing so but that's not anywhere near what the next selling price will be. How could the TA possibly know whether or not the place could remain a rental without knowing what the sale price is? Am I missing something here?

Anonymous said...

"Any and all MCI rent increases cannot, by law, exceed 6 percent of your rent/year."

They can't exceed 6% of what your rent was in the year the MCI application was filed. The MCIs were filed in 2009.

Anonymous said...

O/T and maybe this is not news or strange to anyone, but the new leases for pcv st have a clause REGARDING condo / coop conversion.

???? wha?

Anonymous said...

grrrrrr. i'm so confused. New tenant. do i pay the increase, file a what ? or

do what? JUST MOVED IN. w.t.h.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I think we all have to wait until the dust settles and the higher ups make sense of it.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>O/T and maybe this is not news or strange to anyone, but the new leases for pcv st have a clause REGARDING condo / coop conversion.<<

Hmm....

Anonymous said...

I renewed my lease earlier this year and I don't recall anything about coop or condo conversion. This must be something really new.

Anonymous said...

What does the condo coop conversion clause say?

Anonymous said...

"i'm so confused. New tenant. do i pay the increase, file a what ? or do what? JUST MOVED IN."

Come to the meeting Saturday, 11/2, to get answers. Sponsored by the Tenants Association at Simon Baruch IS 104 on 20th Street, just west of First Ave. Typically, the TA coordinates our efforts to fight MCI increases.

My guess is that new tenants are paying preferential rents and they're high enough to include the MCI increase, but more info should be available at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

"maybe this is not news or strange to anyone, but the new leases for pcv st have a clause REGARDING condo / coop conversion."

Please tell us what the clause says.

Anonymous said...

"How could the TA possibly know whether or not the place could remain a rental without knowing what the sale price is? Am I missing something here?"

I think the answer is that the rent roll isn't enough to meet the more than $3 billion that CW has to recover for the investors, not to mention the costs of maintaining the property.

Anonymous said...

O/T and maybe this is not news or strange to anyone, but the new leases for pcv st have a clause REGARDING condo / coop conversion.

And the clause says........

Anonymous said...

community center question: Are the fitness classes there and all JUST FOR seniors or ? thank you all

Anonymous said...

Those Speyers really do look grotesque. Is that a photoshopped photograph or are they really that sinister and ugly-looking? Rob looks somewhat demented, as does the old man.

Anonymous said...

Anon October 30 @ 5:42PM:

Can you tell us exactly what the condo / coop conversion clause says? Also, Councilman Garodnick would like you to get in touch with his office at 212-818-0580. They would like to see a copy of your lease with this clause in it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Roberts class members will not be subject to the MCI increases that other tenants are now being hit with. Apparently, there was something worked out in Roberts the settlement about his. More than that I do not know.

Anonymous said...

Anon October 30 at 5:42 PM:

Is yours a brand new lease or a renewal lease? Did you just move in?

Anonymous said...

They are really that sinister.

Anonymous said...

New lease: DHCR REnt Stab Rider

Section 13. Coop and condo conversion: those who do not purchase under a non eviction conversion plan ontinue to be protected by RS.. etc etc

Anonymous said...

Please don't leave us hanging. What does the clause state??????

Anonymous said...

Please don't leave us hanging. What does the clause state??????

Anonymous said...

This same clause has been in my lease for years. Nothing new here.

Anonymous said...

I think Section 13 is standard DHCR blurb.

Anonymous said...

What's this nonsense about Robert's class members not being subject to MCI's ? If everyone in ST/PCV is considered "Rent Stabilized" then either everyone gets the increase or nobody does. If this is true, then the TA should use this to VOID the MCI increases.

Anonymous said...

"Roberts class members will not be subject to the MCI increases that other tenants are now being hit with. Apparently, there was something worked out in Roberts the settlement about his. More than that I do not know."

I can't help but feel this is a divisive issue for this community. It's hard as a Roberts tenant who is paying close to $4000/month to feel sorry about $15/month for tenants who are paying a quarter of what I'm paying.

Anonymous said...

STR, wait till you see the notice that management is putting under our doors tonight. I think it was written by Vito Corleone! Seems to be making us an offer we can't refuse. I've seen some thinly-veiled threats in my time, but this is a doozy!

Anonymous said...

This "new" clause isn't new. It has been in leases for many years. Much ado about nothing!

Anonymous said...

Of course Rob is demented, his proclivities for goats has been well documented!

Anonymous said...

By now, we've all gotten the notice under our doors with CW's offer to mitigate the retroactive MCI increases. Of course since they're planning to do this with each individual apartment—and we know how competent their accounting and legal departments are—they're undoubtedly figuring tenants will grab for this juicy carrot, not realizing that by the time they get us the numbers, the period for filing a PAR will have passed.

Anonymous said...

CW letter re: MCI's, they speak about "seek to reduce the amount of retroactive charges added to monthly bills". The way I interpret that is that instead of maxing out the 6% allowable, they'll reduce it but then extend the timeframe for the charges until they're completely paid. Do we really think they will WAIVE any retro ? I totally don't believe it.

Anonymous said...

“I can't help but feel this is a divisive issue for this community. It's hard as a Roberts tenant who is paying close to $4000/month to feel sorry about $15/month for tenants who are paying a quarter of what I'm paying.’

Yet we, long term tenants, were out in front of the Leasing Office to demonstrate against the unjust midyear rent increases that you all got. Were you there? Nice appeal for unity. BTW, it's not $15 per month, you have not been following current events. And let's kill this myth once and for all, you do NOT subsidize us. You subsidize the massive debt that TS created when they did the CF real estate deal of the century. Please read “Other People’s Money” by Charles Bagli ASAP before you make any more future derisive posts.

Anonymous said...

Well said, 6:25 pm!

Anonymous said...

STR, as a cranky old timer, longtime member of the TA, I don't know what to do. Should I sign the TA's form or just let the chips fall where they may?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I signed the TA form. What's to lose? At the Saturday meeting the TA lawyer stressed how important it was for all of us to unite on this issue. Strength in numbers. Hopefully.

Anonymous said...

But now i'm hearing that people who signed the Roberts case paid for it in the end. So most don't want to sign anything again.

not sure i get that, but have heard this a few times now. ?

Anonymous said...

Is there still a drop box at adriatic to drop off the pledges?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

A post on the TA Facebook has the answer: Zeichner Liquors at 16th & 1st, Adriatic Pizzeria between 18 & 19 on 1st or Rite Way Pharmacy bet 21 & 22 on First. The Post office is closed on Sunday and Monday so that is not a good option since the PAR filing is Tuesday.