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At this point, 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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Rent Stabilization Blues



Pretty eye-opening:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/178090/can-de-blasio-make-rent-less-damn-high#

Some choice quotes:

"More than 987,000 apartments in New York—nearly half of all rental units—are rent-stabilized, meaning annual changes in rent are set by a body called the Rent Guidelines Board, or RGB."

"An apartment renting for $700 when Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002, where the lease was renewed annually, could legally go for $966 to $1,007 by the time Bloomberg headed back to the corporate world. That’s well ahead of the growth in family incomes."

"The trend continues: the RGB revealed last year that net income for landlords had increased for seven straight years, that tenant incomes had dropped, that evictions were up and that landlord operating costs were expected to rise a mere 2.6 percent this year. Yet the board, using its formula, raised rents 4 percent."

"The impact of these increases went beyond the monthly rent bill; if a rent-regulated apartment’s monthly rent exceeds $2,500 and it is vacated, it exits the rent stabilization program. Last year, 6,700 units lost their rent protection that way. Every time the RGB raises rents, it moves every apartment in the system closer to the exit door."

----------------------

Don't make de Blasio forget his promise/offering to freeze rents:

http://www.realrentreform.org/2014/02/petition-rally-for-rent-freeze-in-2014.html

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BTW, our local politicians proudly cheered the Roberts Decision in that it made all Stuy Town/Peter Cooper apartments rent stabilized.  But do you know of any rent stabilized apartments outside PCVST in New York going for 4K to 5K plus??? This was a sham victory, indeed, and merely codified the high price of apartments here for our newer tenants.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks STR! Great info. I am going to wrap my head around ways I can remind de Blasio!
Thanks again STR!

Anonymous said...

Unacceptable. Who the hell is arguing this and losing so much for tenants? We need better people in those positions on our side!

"The trend continues: the RGB revealed last year that net income for landlords had increased for seven straight years, that tenant incomes had dropped, that evictions were up and that landlord operating costs were expected to rise a mere 2.6 percent this year. Yet the board, using its formula, raised rents 4 percent."

Anonymous said...

Choice quotes indeed. Stinging. Must stand up as individual citizens and press our elected leaders to get on this. Is there a link somewhere to the elected officials' contact info?. Lets individually pledge to speak out and raise a cry for fairness to R-S communities. Thank You STR.

Anonymous said...

I've attended RGB meetings and have protested in the past. The Rent Guidelines Board lives in a world of its own. Every year the big landlords push the small landlords to the front, the small landlords cry hardship, and then the big landlords pick up the benefit meant to help the small landlords. It's a joke. There should be some kind of tiering. Anyway tenants really have to show up & protest in numbers that get a good deal of press. Public exposure & embarrassment are the only things these guys will ultimately respond to.

Anonymous said...

How about we, all parents have our kids write letters or a petition from our kids to remind de Blasio of his Rent Freeze Promise?

The kids of PCVST with hard working parents ask Mayor de Blasio to keep his word.

Is there an existing group of a big number of parents already gathered for play dates or whatever who could begin this?

Anonymous said...



parents of kids at ps 40 and ms 104. So many of our kids.

Anonymous said...

If we go the route of getting press on a demand to de Blasio (which I think is a great path to use along side others) we probably should use our contacts at newspapers with wide coverage and real journalistic cred like Wall Street Journal. WSJ covers PCVST a lot.

Anyone else feel that Town & Village sometimes sounds like it lets the electeds write the articles?

Anonymous said...

The TA has prepared postcards with a message for de Blasio, reminding him that we need tenant-friendly members on the RGB. The postcards are on a sheet that is bright green. They'll be put under doors in the next few days with instructions.

A blizzard of bright green postcards is bound to be noticed, and they ID the sender as a tenant of ST/PCV (but not as a member of the TA).

If you're hating on the TA, at least check out the message and adapt it for your own use. And don't forget to spread the word to anyone you know who is RS or sympathetic to our situation.

The mayor gets to appoint the chair (a public member) and 4 more members need to be appointed before the next RGB deliberations.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to contact the Mayor if you want to email a rent freeze promise reminder / demand

http://www.nyc.gov/html/static/pages/officeofthemayor/contact.shtml

or

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE
311 or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of kids sending letters! That could get press!
Thanks for this STR!

Anonymous said...

RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE
RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE
RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE
RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE
RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE
RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE
RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE
RENT FREEZE
RENT STRIKE

Anonymous said...

On the bright side, at least this new snow will cover all the shit and urine soaked old yellow snow. Maybe it will look pretty for 6 hours or so.

Anonymous said...

8:43 and STR you have my individual pledge! Def agree individual is the way to go!

10:38 the tiering of landlords at RGB meetings is a great idea. To whom do we / I propose and push for that?

Anonymous said...

"Public exposure & embarrassment are the only things these guys will ultimately respond to"

THEN LET'S HAVE AT IT!

10:38 Who are "these guys"

Anonymous said...

If we stand up and fight, we already win, for having fought.

Wisdom from my kid - his thoughts, our words.

Anonymous said...

A rent freeze!? Seriously!?

That will not go over well with the other half of the public paying Market Rate.

Anonymous said...

"The trend continues: the RGB revealed last year that net income for landlords had increased for seven straight years, that tenant incomes had dropped, that evictions were up and that landlord operating costs were expected to rise a mere 2.6 percent this year. Yet the board, using its formula, raised rents 4 percent."

OK that makes it clear for me the politicians in office these past 7 years need to be replaced in 2014.

Anonymous said...

"that makes it clear for me the politicians in office these past 7 years need to be replaced in 2014."

The politician who appoints the members of the RGB is the mayor. The chair of the RGB serves at the pleasure of the mayor and in the past seems to have had a big influence on how the board votes. De Blasio has to appoint or reappoint 4 more now.

Anonymous said...

3:01 why would the market rate tenants begrudge something that helps their neighbors? You make it sound as if they are petty. We aren't petty. Some of us would be fine with a rent freeze for the regulated and seek a relief remedy for market rate with other tools that may or may not be available to the regulated renters. Either way we shouldn't begrudge our neighbors and ourselves much needed relief.

Tenants need relief. All of us. So let's help each other not hold each other back. Anyone have ideas for relief for the market rate in PCVST?

Anonymous said...

I like the PCVST kids writing to de Blasio on the rent freeze or maybe even making a video message to him.

Tommyboyardee said...

I want to thank all those liberals who thought Billy De Blasio was the answer. As Ed Koch used to ask "how I'm doing" . Al Roker is right: 1 termer

Anonymous said...

February 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM
I read the all the threads. I don't see hate. I see a lot of warranted anger. I see a lot of betrayal of tenants by the Tenant Association and by the local politicians. I see trust lost because of their actions against tenants and against the grounds tenants value and treasure. Hate would be easier to fix. The lost trust over the betrayal is permanent.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I want to thank all those liberals who thought Billy De Blasio was the answer. As Ed Koch used to ask "how I'm doing" . Al Roker is right: 1 termer<<

Wait. He's just sat down in the Mayor's chair. If he fails (and he certainly could) that's it for New York, and we will get either another Bloomberg (though I don't think there's a copy around) or some wussy guy who is going to be led around by every well-moneyed interest group.

Anonymous said...

All those liberals did the city a big favor. de Blasio is the better of all the choices. I am not labeled as a liberal but I recognize that NYC has a dire need for de Blasio. NYC is on a downward spiral for many of us of all parties and de Blasio has to reverse that downward spiral on an uphill climb. For all our sake - he needs our support.

Anonymous said...

Al Roker has never said anything remotely intelligent. If Al is your go to man for gauge on what is right ... you might want to rethink that.

Anonymous said...

Feb 12 at 5:40 pm: I really like your post. You said it perfectly. We have lost trust. We do feel betrayed. The TA and our local pols just seem to use and abuse our loyalty and we are just about at the end of our stock of loyalty.

Anonymous said...

The City is finished!!! Our Mayor will now be giving the City away & we are on our way to becoming another Detroit. There are no checks & balances anymore because the Mayor has chosen the Speaker & the Speaker basically controls the City Council ! As a native New Yorker , I am - for the first time- seriously thinking about leaving. The corporations & Wall Streeters are also thinking of leaving. Whatever you think of them, they keep the City afloat. Be careful what you wish for.......

Anonymous said...

Dear February 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Actually it was said by February 14, 2014 at 9:34 AM

In response to Feb 12 at 5:40 pm accusing people of hating on the TA.



Anonymous said...

"A rent freeze!? Seriously!?

That will not go over well with the other half of the public paying Market Rate."

You need to understand how this works. Tenants who were part of the Roberts class have their rents fixed at a certain amount that is less than the legal rent. Their high rents can go up by the percentage voted on by the RGB. Higher percentage = more dollars.

Tenants paying market rate who moved in after the case and weren't part of the Roberts class may not be affected by the RGB increases because they're paying preferential rents, which are lower than the legal rent. However, the RGB increase can be added to the legal rent when the lease is renewed, even if the preferential rent remains lower than the legal rent.

Seems to me we should all be wanting the people paying higher rents to pay less, not the people paying lower rents to pay more. When we were all paying lower rents to MetLife, things were just fine. And as a reminder, we're all rent stabilized (although some of us only until 2020).

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Our Mayor will now be giving the City away & we are on our way to becoming another Detroit.<<

LOL.

Anonymous said...

7:02 a lot of those people paying the higher rents are being overcharged because they are choosing not to file for the rent overcharge complaint reduction with dhcr. If anyone has successfully brought their rent down they should speak out and help others who are paying $4000 - $5000 because for some reason people aren't helping themselves. A few people have challenged the overcharge and gotten reductions. So there, that is how it can work. At least one way. But you have to do it for yourself and it seems people want others to do it for them which I don't understand.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile OUR rents go up up up because of MCIs and the Roberts Case. We should bring a class action lawsuit against the TA for herding us like buffalo off a cliff. How exactly are the TA qualified for the work they do? We need professionals, enough with the well meaning people already. They're clueless and do this community a huge disservice.

Anonymous said...

Did the Tenant Association have enough members or legal right required to vote on this on behalf of all tenants and the property and how can we tenants keep Mitch Rudin / Brookfield grubby hands off our homes so we don't go the way of St Vincents hospital in the Hoylman Rudin deal?

http://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/brookfields-grand-plan/
Brookfield’s grand plan
The tenant Association

Canadian firm ramping up Manhattan presence with Mitch Rudin
February 01, 2012

In November, the Tenants’ Association at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village voted to partner with Brookfield Asset Management to explore the possibility of the company buying the massive, 110-building complex and then converting units from rentals to condos.

Anonymous said...

9:18 That is a good point. Does this Tenant Association meet the requirements needed for the actions they take? It is disturbing how they on the one hand behave like a power authority to make decisions on behalf of the property like politicians backed by us, or who to partner with in a purchase and on the other hand every time the Tenant Association has to do something we actually need they claim they have no time because they are just volunteers and no money because ... well who knows where they are spending the money they have.
This Tenant Association is not acting appropriately.

Anonymous said...

The failure of curbing the out of control charges to tenants (MCI, annual RGB increases, Roberts) is the failure of the Assemblyman and the TA.
Who is negotiating with DHCR on these latest MCI's?

Anonymous said...

Wdym they're not filing for overcharges?

Some are, most are, but some of the rents are legally (sadly) the correct amounts.

? you think all are overcharged?????

Anonymous said...

12:33 Although I can't personally answer for the person who thinks everyone is being overcharged but I can tell you they may have a point because even some of the ole long time people from the MetLife era who still work in the management office disagree with the CW leasing and rent practices and other things they are doing to everyone. Not everyone in management is a bad person but they are working for bad people who make them do bad things and the person who thinks everyone is being overcharged might be trying to help everyone but why are you trying to find out how they know unless you are trying to stop those people from helping tenants. It doesn't matter how anyone knows we are being hurt or who is telling us and that is suspect of you to even question.
The only thing that matters is if there is even a remote possibility tenants are being cheated we owe it to ourselves to stop it.
I don't like any comments about questioning those trying to help tenants including like 12:33 so keep the information flowing.

Anonymous said...

12:33 Why do you ask that?

Anonymous said...

"The failure of curbing the out of control charges to tenants (MCI, annual RGB increases, Roberts) is the failure of the Assemblyman and the TA."

Landlords are allowed by law to file for MCI rent increases with DHCR. The TA is fighting the MCIs. If you think that you can do a better job than the TA and its lawyers, go ahead. What's stopping you? If you want to see the predatory, unjust MCI law changed, take it up with Albany because they're the ones that passed the law. People have been trying for years - without success - to have it modified or abolished.

If you want to try to do something about the absurd rent increases that are granted to landlords every year, sign the TA's Change.org petition asking Mayor de Blasio to appoint tenant friendly members to the Rent Guidelines Board - http://chn.ge/M2MmJh.

Neither the TA nor Garodnick are responsible for the Roberts debacle. Roberts was a win for tenants, but the implementation of the Roberts decision - which neither the TA nor Garodnick had anything to do with - was a disaster.

Just because you're frustrated and pissed off, stop blaming Garodnick and the TA for things that are either beyond their control or they aren't able to affect in a way that would satisfy you. WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT THE UNFAIR TREATMENT THAT RENTERS ARE GETTING IN NYC?

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile OUR rents go up up up because of MCIs and the Roberts Case."
Apples and oranges. The MCIs are governed by state law (look up Urstadt law). Whenever the rent laws come up for renewal, local elected representatives, tenants organized by the TA, and TA board members go to Albany to plead for renewal. (I've done it--and not a lot of other tenants showed up.) Lots of people want to repeal Urstadt and get rent laws back under the city's control, but the political situation in Albany makes that difficult. The MCI law, as Brian Kavanagh has pointed out, is intended to encourage landlords to make necessary improvements (as opposed to letting their property decay) because they know they'll get their money back (boy, will they get it back). This really needs to be reformed (look up Real Rent Reform).

The Roberts case was not brought by the TA, and the TA was not a party to the suit, which brought all apartments here back into rent stabilization, albeit not with totally positive results. The TA did see it as a win for tenants.

"How exactly are the TA qualified for the work they do? We need professionals, enough with the well meaning people already. They're clueless and do this community a huge disservice."

Well, they're more knowledgable than I am on my own and have pointed me in the right direction more than once. It would be nice to have paid professionals working on our behalf. How much do you estimate it would cost for staff, rent, overhead, benefits, etc.?

Anonymous said...

>> As a native New Yorker , I am - for the first time- seriously thinking about leaving..<<

ROFL!

Anonymous said...

3:32

You do not understand. The person is saying that people do CHALLENGE their high rents.... as someone pointed out that people are not.

BUTTTTTT.... the point being, some are not being overcharged. that's a fact. Some of the rents are high and correct. 200 move in and move outs do that to a rate. Please pay attention to all the posts.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of the corrupt, bloodsucking vermin running our state, city and this property, that angry doesn't even begin to describe it. From Cuomo on down, they are corrupt, despicable shit. They don't want the people they are elected to "serve" to have any chance of happiness and peace, they just want to use us and feather their own nests at our expense. I don't believe that even one of them has the decency of a gutter rat.

Anonymous said...

"albeit not with totally positive results. The TA did see it as a win for tenants."

I am a Roberts tenant. If you go by the law, my rent for a 2 BR should be well under $3,000, like $2,500 at most, if they hadn't illegally raised it before my time, etc. Under Roberts, they are allowed to charge $5,800. WELL above market. So now it can go up only the RS amount for the next five years? Wow, big win. That is the story for MOST of Roberts tenants, except for the named plaintiffs and a few others. And of course the lawyers. I still haven't gotten my $150. That will help.

Anonymous said...

5:11 look at the photos in the REBNY thread and stop yelling at tenants on this thread if you are really on the side of tenants which I doubt because you spew the reasons landlords can legally do what they do. Fact is they are dong what they do illegally and corruptly.

Albany / Cuomo is already bought and paid for by REBNY so going to Albany hasn't produced any wins these past years and won't until the corruption is ended.

Tenants on these threads are proving the corruption. Tenants are giving evidence of politicians fundraising for those who oppose tenants in Albany.

Tenants are exposing the Commissioner of DHCR fundraising for lobbyists against tenants who have won every year with unfair rent increases.

It is exposed Dan Garodnick is a favorite of lobbyists against tenants. EVERYONE knows the TA does, says, thinks what Dan tells them.

Your wrong point on Roberts has already been covered by other tenants and STR.

Your question in all caps "what are you doing..." is in the threads. The photo show and everyone now knows Albany has been bought and paid for by REBNY.

Tenants are doing something and you February 15, 2014 at 5:11 PM are attacking tenants on the threads who are trying to help tenants. Tenants shouldn't keep doing the same things every year that have not been working and winning in Albany.

Now we are exposing it all.


Anonymous said...

De Blasio will listen to the TA and Handsome Dan. They have real power! Susan Steinberg too! She hates bikinis! What a bunch!

Anonymous said...

The system is corrupt, broken, and not working for all but is for a few who are having great prosperity, REBNY.

If tenants play by the rules of a system that is corrupt tenants will always lose.

Rules of the game favor REBNY (landlords, real estate developers, bankers). It is rigged.

"Paid for" Albany messages, rules, regulations, laws are brought to you by REBNY.

Time to change those who make the rules.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I am a Roberts tenant. If you go by the law, my rent for a 2 BR should be well under $3,000, like $2,500 at most, if they hadn't illegally raised it before my time, etc. Under Roberts, they are allowed to charge $5,800. WELL above market. So now it can go up only the RS amount for the next five years? Wow, big win.<<

I cannot understand why everyone doesn't see what a sham this Roberts decision was. As I wrote, the Roberts decision codified market rate rents for apartments in PCVST. So what if technically these apartments are "rent-stabilized" now? Add the legal rent increases per newly-signed lease, and there's a lot of money to be made on these "rent-stabilized" apartments. A complete joke to consider this a win for affordable middle class housing and tenants. A joke and an insult.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Worse, Garodnick still hails the decision at TA meetings and gets cheers from the audience!

Anonymous said...

The Roberts decision was a good one.

The Roberts settlement was bad.

See the difference?

Anonymous said...



1. I am not a roberts tenant

2. most of our friends are.

3. they all had their rents rolled back to DECENT levels.

4. why was this not so for others? I DON'T GET THIS.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>they all had their rents rolled back to DECENT levels.<<

Could we hear numbers on these "Decent levels"?

Anonymous said...

The Roberts decision was a good one.

The Roberts settlement was bad.

See the difference?


EXACTLY.

You people need to distinguish between the win and the abominable implementation of that win. It would have been aa amazing win for tenants, if the lawyers hadn't screwed it up. Blame the lawyers, not the decision. OK?

Anonymous said...

"5:11 look at the photos in the REBNY thread and stop yelling at tenants on this thread if you are really on the side of tenants which I doubt because you spew the reasons landlords can legally do what they do. Fact is they are dong what they do illegally and corruptly."

5:11 here. I am a many decades long tenant of STPCV. The point of my post was to say that what CW is doing it is allowed to do under the CURRENT laws. If you don't like the laws -- and I don't -- then we need to change them.

I am not happy to see those photos, but understand that politicians need to appear to be making nice sometimes. That's just the way the system works. I don't like it, but I understand it.

As for your complaint that I am "yelling" at tenants on this thread: guilty as charged. I give money and volunteer my time to organizations trying to help tenants. Anyone here who is able to do that and doesn't, I really don't have much use for. And don't tell me -- or worse, yourself -- that you're too busy. I work full time and I have a family, but I MAKE time to volunteer because it's important to me and to the well being and future of my family and our home. If you have the time to read and write on this blog, then you have the time to help made a difference. Put your time and energy where your mouth is and then we can talk. If you're waiting around for someone else to do the heavy lifting, then don't be surprised if things don't go as you would like them to. Lean in, people. Lean in, people.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>You people need to distinguish between the win and the abominable implementation of that win.<<

What did the "win" give tenants?

Anonymous said...

Win: landlords can't illegally raise rents while collecting J-51 tax relief from NYC any more.

Loss: the settlement allowed an outrageous capped total of 3 vacancy increases between the date of an apartment's deregulation and December 15, 2010 so that rents in most cases went up under the rent formual approved by the court.

First the court gaveth and there was much rejoicing. Then the court tooketh away and there was much gnashing of teeth.

Anonymous said...

9:47--I AM talking about the settlement.

The decision is meaningless at this point for the majority of the residents who got major rent INCREASES due to the settlement, and at best the decision has a five year window of application to other tenants outside of Stuytown. Meaning, these other tenants will have to bring suit, engage in long litigation, maybe get a ruling from the court in four-six years that may give some retroactive application and rent decrease, unless another lawyer settles and takes most of the benefit in fees and they "win" an big increase like many of us. And no application going forward b/c it would be 2020 by the time they got their ruling anyway.

Anonymous said...

Re: Roberts Settlement: The bastard lawyers cleaned up and went away laughing all the way to the bank. Never trust lawyers and politicians because they will screw you up the ass every time. Anyone noticed that most politicians are lawyers?

Anonymous said...


Hello 12:34 PM I have to slightly disagree with you when you say
"Win: landlords can't illegally raise rents while collecting J-51 tax relief from NYC any more"

That isn't a "win". A "win" would be an advancement for tenants. There wasn't any advancement for tenants. Just these criminals getting called out for their crimes as criminals should be.

They should have been charged with fraud for their illegal acts and imprisoned for destroying people's lives on a massive scale.

Anonymous said...

7:46 you are so right!

Anonymous said...

DITTO 7:46
NEVER TRUST LAWYERS AND POLITICIANS!
And both seem to forget that they work for you! They act like they are our bosses. I've no respect for them.

Anonymous said...

The Roberts Lawyers "take" was a bad joke even the Judge had to say something:

There was more than a bit of bristling, however, over the high legal fees, which, at 30 percent of the damages, amount to nearly $20 million. Lawyers and their staff members charged as much as $890 per hour, according to Real Estate Weekly, and the judge joked that he's not even sure he makes $100 an hour.

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/10/hard_numbers_revealed_as_stuy_town_settlement_approved.php

To make matters worse the Judge made a solid ruling and the lawyers screwed it up in the settlement to protect the rent roll of the property for the looming sale. Despicable lawyers undid the justice from the courts and the Judge's ruling.

Anonymous said...

" Despicable lawyers undid the justice from the courts and the Judge's ruling."

Most lawyers are despicable, especially if they are connected in any way to the real estate industry. Have you ever noticed that most politicians are former lawyers?

Anonymous said...

Decent levels were:

pcv: one br around 2700. (ok, not that great, but better than 3500+)

2 br : around 3400. Much better than those paying close to 5k now.

stuy 1 br: around 2600. Better tehan those paying 3400+