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Management has two priorities: 1) Making sure money is made, hence upgrading and filling up apartments is their goal. "Amenities" are important in selling the place, though few residents use them. 2) If someone needs medical attention, Public Safety will be there, if alerted.

Quality of life issues are not that important, however. They tend to be ignored, despite "the rules." So you will see a lot that isn't taken care of properly, and complaints will be met with a creative excuse and a smile.

"Peace and quiet" must be a cruel joke, though this property is sold that way. There can be no peace and quiet as ALL apartments must be upgraded, which includes the installation of an AC unit below the window. Aside from the continual construction about the neighborhood, there is a new and noisy subway extension being built along East 14 st and the shut down of the L line. "Choosing" to live in NYC, now the newest mantra, is a fabrication when the talk is of ST and PCV, which was traditionally quiet, with no construction noise.

Though money was always important, it is now more important than ever. Money rules many things, as you will find.

At this point, 30 years into living here and seeing many things, I can state that Management and their reps are BS-ing us. I can't say that loudly enough: We are being BS-ed. I don't see any genuine change. Sorry.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Saturday Tenant Association Meeting Concerning MCIs

The crucial summary from the TA meeting:

The TA lawyer, Tim Collins, believes the MCIs will be rescinded because the DHCR seems to have mistakenly not taken into account the objections already filed by the TA's lawyers. This doesn't mean we still won't get hit by the MCIs at a later date, so that battle still continues.

The retroactive charges, if they stand, will only be collected in percentages at the end of the payment for the regular MCI charges.  I'm assuming this means after the initial costs are met, as these charges, if they stand, become part of one's rent in perpetuity.  But the message one should take away is that no one will be compelled to pay a lump sum now or in the future of these retroactive charges.

Those seniors who are under the SCRIE program or disabled tenants who are under the DRIE have 90 days to apply for a waiver from the MCIs. Contact the TA to help you fill out this waiver.

Everyone who has received a MCI is strongly urged to sign a Public Membership Pledge, which gives the TA the right to represent you in its fillings.  You can opt out whenever you like.  Form below.  Click on it to make it larger:


From Edmund John Dunn's post on the TA: >>The form can be sent via snail mail to ST/PCV-TA, P.O. Box 1202, New York, NY 10009-1202. Alternatively you may fax to (866) 290-9036 or drop a copy off at any of the TA’s drop boxes located on First Ave at Zeichner's Liquors, Adriatic Restaurant, TD Bank or Rite-Way Pharmacy. Please put on the envelope or fax over sheet, Attention Public Membership Pledge Form”. Please download the form and the sending instructions and forward to people not on FB or to those who do not have internet access."<<

The TA meeting will be available as an audio download soon.

My comments: The meeting had an overflowing of capacity, a splendid sign that tenants are up in arms over these MCIs and the insulting and threatening letter CWCapital slipped under everyone's door on Friday. The TA lawyer made a good point about the possible impetus for CWCapital to engage with the TA on these MCIs, as, if this matter gets taken to court, the length of the legal process will disrupt the ability of CWCapital to sell off PCVST.  The reason these MCIs have arrived now appears to be due to the long time it took to settle the Roberts case.  That case needed to be resolved first.

I had to wonder if the current lawyers for the TA are the same ones who dealt with the Roberts case, as that case did not go so well for affected tenants in certain areas.  I was amused by the slams against big business and real estate while Dan Garodnick, who has accepted significant donations from both, was sitting right there without batting an eye.  Truthfully, Bill de Blasio has also accepted such contributions.  Hopefully both politicians will not favor "The Man" too much in their future decisions and be stridently aggressive in saving the middle class in New York.

Worse. Speaker. Ever.  Congressmember Carolyn Maloney who popped in at the end and didn't seem to be aware of what the meeting was about, but who managed to, once again as she always does, talk about something else, this time the Tea Party (!), the recent government shutdown, and cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program.  Thankfully, her remarks were very brief.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carolyn Maloney should retire. She is as irrelevant as she is brainless. What a dope!

Anonymous said...

The city is duty-bound to follow the law. So if there are objections that haven't been heard, simple notification should be enough to get the review rolling. It comes down to the same business in the end. Initially we don't need lawyers, politicians or the TA. We just need to hear the deal from CW. Then we can figure out what to do from there.

Anonymous said...

No surprise there with Maloney. If one looked deep into her eyes, the only thing you would see is a sign on the back of her head saying space for rent.

Anonymous said...

She is such a twit. Embarrassing to say the least (Quinn).

Anonymous said...

"I had to wonder if the current lawyers for the TA are the same ones who dealt with the Roberts case, as that case did not go so well for affected tenants in certain areas."

No. They're not the same and couldn't be more different.

Wolf-Haldenstein, the firm who "handled" the Roberts case, is a large, class-action specialist. They aren't necessarily concerned with getting the greatest compensation for the greatest number of class members. Rather, they are simply good at "winning" these.

Collins, Dobkin, and Miller are primarily engaged in housing and landlord/tenant law. They are concerned with yielding the greatest settlement for the greatest number of tenants. Tenants is what they do and what they do best. In a "word of mouth" business, their reputation depends on it, and their specialty has given them a nearly unrivaled expertise in New York's arcane, byzantine, and convoluted housing regulations. [Note: On a personal note, over the years I have recommended one of the name partners to several neighbors and each has been thrilled with the results.]

Anonymous said...

O/T. Is there a limit to number of people living in a one br here? even if it's family?

Anonymous said...

Come on, STR. A two minute online search would have revealed that
Collins, Dobkin, and Miller (the lawyers handling TA MCI appeals before the DHCR) are NOT the same firm that handled the Roberts case. Here's the About Us page on the Collins, Dobkin, and Miller website: http://collinsdobkinmiller.com/about.html

Anonymous said...

"Initially we don't need lawyers, politicians or the TA. We just need to hear the deal from CW. Then we can figure out what to do from there."
Really? Who are they gonna present the deal to? 25,000 different. self-righteous, self-important opinions on the deal? That oughts work out just great! And you're wrong: initially we DO need (at least) the lawyers or the TA. Since the clock is ticking and only 30 days are on it, 25,000 deals are far more efficiently handled en masse than one at a time. If the deal is bad, or a compromise is reached, the TA/lawyers can always rescind the challenge.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Come on, STR. A two minute online search would have revealed that<<

Sometimes I don't even have a minute.

Anonymous said...

It's illegal for more than 3 unrelated people to live in the same house or apartment.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone recall the year MET began to deregulate apts and throw out the list that everyone was on?

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone recall the year MET began to deregulate apts and throw out the list that everyone was on?"

July 2001.

Anonymous said...

Can 6 family member and a nanny live in a one bedroom here?

Anonymous said...

"...The reason these MCIs have arrived now appears to be due to the long time it took to settle the Roberts case. That case needed to be resolved first..." Was this stated by the TA attorney? I wouldn't think MCI decisions would be related to Roberts but maybe...

dcf said...

2001, shortly after 9/11, we received a letter that the list was dissolved and we were offered a market rate apartment, in its place. However, I believe there were a few market rate apartments either in late 2000 or early 2001, which I read about recently from a NY Times article from that time.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Can 6 family member and a nanny live in a one bedroom here?<<

Where does the nanny sleep? In the tub?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Was this stated by the TA attorney? I wouldn't think MCI decisions would be related to Roberts but maybe...<<

That's the explanation I heard. It was a bit convoluted, however.

Anonymous said...

As a lawyer, I thought Tim Collins did an excellent job
As for Carolyn Maloney I agree wholeheartedly that she is an empty suit that should retire. Plus her screeching into the microphone actually hurt my ears.

Anonymous said...

Highly doubt that 7 people in a space the size of a one bedroom is legal. Contact Council member Dan Garodnick's office. They'll tell you for sure.

Anonymous said...

Diapers and politicians need to be changed often and for the same reason!

Anyone but Garodnick!!!

Anonymous said...

7 people or maybe 6. But all but one are related.

Anonymous said...

I guess the nanny sleeps in a bunk. 4 bunk beds, parents in living room.

ya think?

Anonymous said...

WHAT HAPPENS IF ONE DOES NOT SIGN THIS PUBLIC MEMBERSHIP NOTICE, PAYS THE RETRO FOR A FEW MONTHS,
THEN SUDDENLY THE MCI IS REVERSED?
ARE WE LEGALLY ENTITLED TO OUR MONEY BACK FROM CW?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

From the TA meeting, I took away the "fact" that the retro payment kicks in much later in the MCI process. So one shouldn't worry about retro payments now.

Anonymous said...

That still does not answer the question, if one is legally entitled to your money back from CW if a particular MCI is completely overturned, after paying them for example after 3 months. This pertains ONLY if one has decided NOT to sign off on this Public Membership Notice. Can someone please re-clarify?

Anonymous said...

The permenant part is collected first. So if this amount, or ANY amount is paid for, say the next 5months and an MCI is overturned, aren't we legally entitled to our money refunded whether or not one signed ANY document?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on television or even on the internet, so I can't answer the question. Logically, it would seem that if an MCI is overturned tenants would get money back, but I'm also assuming the "overturning" part would occur BEFORE the MCI is added to one's rent bill.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

You can also ask this question on the TA Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/358760671689/

Anonymous said...

MCI overturned ??? Refunds ?? LOL !!!

Wake up and smell the coffee. After all the bullshit that went down here, including Roberts and all the other ridiculous scams, do you honestly think that THE MAN will let you slide on this ??

sorry for the pessimism, but I've seen too much for too long. Go count your MCI refunds and carry on...

Anonymous said...

After the windows' MCI kicked in and we'd even begun to pay on the retro portion, that MCI was, in fact, partially overturned. The TA led that challenge and conducted a door to door survey documenting faulty & dangerous windows and installations. As always, PARs were submitted with several of those tenants' objections.

In that case, the DHCR allowed a partial recoup for Met Life's (the landlord at the time) improvement, HOWEVER-- a huge number (at the time), was rescinded and awarded back to the tenants [I'm not positive but think I remember something like a $1.4 million rebate]. At any rate, it's not like they'll write you a giant check; instead they simply knock it off of your monthly rent bill for a month (or maybe more). Not sure how it would be handled in the event of someone who had been paying the increase and then vacated. Still, if it's found against the landlord you do get a rebate (never heard it called a refund, but same diff).

Anonymous said...

If you don't sign the Public Pledge and join the Master Par, you will not be covered by the TA's lawyers with regard to the retroactive balance and will have to start paying it now instead of waiting for DHCR to issue another finding if they decide to Rescind & Reconsider the MCIs.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Thanks for jogging my memory on that, Anon 5:34pm. I completely forgot about that rebate.

Anonymous said...

The window rebate was because the windows started to implode in many apartments, including mine, (scared the pooh out of me while I showered, I thought someone was shooting at me) They had to go around and remove the gas in between the panes of glass in all the windows. They were no longer worth anywhere near what we ended up paying for them. (We're still paying for them.) It was a major debacle. There should have been lawsuits but the company quickly went out of business.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:57 Skyline Windows is still very much in business. Not sure where you got your info. In our building, 22 apartments had one or more windows implode. It was a disaster.

@STR, Happy to have reminded you. Since many here are quick to pillory the TA for their ineffectiveness (often through no fault of their own), I thought it might be nice to remind all that they do try to fight the good fight. If the government agencies and blood sucking RE industry has a mightier hand (stuffed with cash), it's hardly their fault. Credit where credit is due.

Anonymous said...

If you don't sign the Public Pledge and join the Master Par, you will not be covered by the TA's lawyers with regard to the retroactive balance and will have to start paying it now instead of waiting for DHCR to issue another finding if they decide to Rescind & Reconsider the MCIs.

Not sure of the validity of this statement. If what STR posted about the retro portion not kicking in until later, then this post would be totally wrong and nothing more than a scare tactic. I am 99% sure that if the MCI was rescinded or reconsidered and the DHCR changed the MCI then everyone gets the break not just those who signed the pledge.

Anonymous said...

Has any Roberts class action member received an MCI notice from the DHCR?

I have not received any notices for my Stuy Town apartment.

I asked the Roberts class action attorneys and they have no guidance.

Any help would be appreciated (not on Facebook or Twitter so cannot see those TA pages).

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Has any Roberts class action member received an MCI notice from the DHCR?<<

I don't believe so. Check TA Facebook page. I believe someone responded with the same answer.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Concerning the Public Pledge, you can withdraw it at any time.

Anonymous said...

Retroactive payments are the amounts owed between the effective date and the issue date of the DHCR order granting the MCI. They represent a temporary increase until the full amount is paid. The tenant isn't required to pay the retroactive portion in a lump sum. It's paid in equal monthly installments. However, the combined retroactive and permanent prospective MCI rent increases cannot exceed 6% of your rent in any one year (see the DHCR's fact sheet #24, decision in **Bryant Avenue v. Koch**).

As Dan G reminded us all in the meeting, the retroactive charges are temporary. It's the permanent monthly increase that gets factored into our base rents and that's what CW Capital really cares about: the permanent increase would inflate the property’s rent roll (ie: property value). Retro active charges are a CW Capital scary sideshow. They probably aren't even what any negotiations will be about. Reductions in the permanent charges probably will be.

Anonymous said...

As per the letter dropped today - or in the last few days - at the doors of tenants who have NOT yet signed the Public Pledge:

"Tenants not participating in a PAR by signing a pledge will incur retroactive charges while the PAR is being decided. PARs can take months or years to decide, so this can add up to a considerable amount of money…The Public Membership Pledge is your safety net against paying retroactive charges needlessly, so do sign!"

Anonymous said...

As per the letter dropped today - or in the last few days - at the doors of tenants who have NOT yet signed the Public Pledge:

"Tenants not participating in a PAR by signing a pledge will incur retroactive charges while the PAR is being decided. PARs can take months or years to decide, so this can add up to a considerable amount of money"… The Public Membership Pledge is your safety net against paying retroactive charges needlessly, so do sign!"

If you don't sign the Public Pledge and you start paying the retroactive part now and the MCI rent increase amount is eventually decreased or the MCI application is denied entirely by DHCR, good luck figuring out what your correct rent bill should be!