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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.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Big Shots Rarely Go to Jail

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2014/03/14/no_ceos_paid_price_for_2008_meltdown_heres_why.html

.... And someone still hasn't paid, either in fines or jail time, for what happened to PCVST.

As a matter of fact, one of the principals involved in the destruction of this community and affordable housing, Robbie Speyer, is the chairman of the powerful Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), which lords over New York City politicians, despite the "will of the people."

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fuld, Blankfein, Speyer, et al are no better than Madoff. How come Madoff got convicted is beyond me. He must have fallen behind in his payments to the syndicate.

Anonymous said...

Cuomo is the root of Tishman's getting away with what they did here.
Bloomberg, Quinn, Garodnick were his team mates.
NYC would have been an even bigger mess for residents if de Blasio were stuck in the middle of Cuomo and the thank-god-it-failed attempt by Garodnick to be speaker.
They destroyed our homes and here is Cuomo's latest for all of you going to work every day on the Subway.
http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/03/14/without-action-from-cuomo-subways-doomed-to-endless-state-of-disrepair/

Anonymous said...

Those who don't play by the rules laugh at those who do.

Anonymous said...

Good article. Again in the article, and as many have said on this blog - "there are no laws against" what they do.
Wouldn't it be spectacular if NY lawmakers actually make laws for all these crimes which are Wall Street NY based and or in their own back yards as PCVST!

Anonymous said...

These criminals will keep getting away with it until individuals stand up for themselves. Do not rely on a TA or a TA attorney or management.

Here are 2 budding examples of people who could have saved thousands a year by just standing up for themselves, questioning what is being said and charged, and correcting the overcharge.


In the below article, are 2 comments with stories indicative of the hundreds of apartments that went from rent stabilized to market rate illegally - by capitalizing on tenants not knowing nor questioning a rent stabilized apartment increase with renovations during vacancy that far exceeded what was legally allowable. there are hundreds, maybe a few thousand of apartments like these 2.

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2009/12/22/a_guide_to_stuy_towns_new_rents.php

asphalt 1

My $2750/month one bedroom went down $61.

Having lived here 6 years and knowing the last tenant paid $740 (I saved the rent bill that came in the mail the first month I moved here 6 years ago) I am very curious to see how they computed the new rents.

On some plane I'm glad for any rent reduction at all, but $61/month certainly doesn't sound like they computed the numbers in good faith. Or else this apartment underwent some EXPENSIVE renovation!

RR
#31. 12/27/09 03:05 PM
Reply to this.
j2010 1

asphalt --

I'm at 15th and A in Stuy Town and my rent went down $88 from 3215 to 3127. I've lived here for 2 years and know that the tenant before me paid 1470. I'm also very curious to see how they computed these new rents, and why some seem to have such small reductions while others have such big ones.

Have you/anyone else had any luck contacting the lawyers or landlords to get specifics on why certain apartments got the reductions they got? All I've gotten are form letters from the lawyers.

J

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2009/12/22/a_guide_to_stuy_towns_new_rents.php

Anonymous said...

Madoff got convicted b/c he didn't limit his fraud to powerless tenants (or pensioners and 401ks for individuals). Major equity firms, banks, universities, foundations and endowments lost billions. Yeshiva lost $140 MILLION of its endowment, many Hollywood and other famous/not so famous rich people lost millions, including Sandy Koufax, Kevin Bacon, among others. Elie Wiesel said he lost almost everything he had. Literally. Indeed, my friend's mother lost $10,000,000--leaving her with very little--I know, how did that happen? And, because he paid out to her $1,000,000 over a number of years to show how he was making $$ for her, and yet much of the $10,000,000 never really existed or if it did, it disappeared, she still has to find a way to repay that $1m to a pool to get redisbursed back to her and other victims.

Anonymous said...

12:37 I think, not sure, that you have to go down to Dept housing to find out the correct charges. Not sure a lawyer can confirm on this - what was spent and is allowable for renovations and increase in rent.

someone please post if i'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Our apartment was renovated November 2013 and last and original tenant (who passed away) was paying $1201 in October 2013. WE are paying $3350. The lease shows that the 'improvements', - new kitchen, new bath, stove, fridge, closets, lights , etc........ total over $1700 in increases allowed per month! per month!

Could this be accurate or is this total BS? We're in a one bedroom.

Anonymous said...

The regulators and law enforcers sent a strong message to all. Break the rules in a BIG way is OK.

Anonymous said...

Wait, I'm paying over 4k a month to live here, i am stabilized at 4200 though. rofl

rofl

and fwiw, I have Mci increases now and none were taken off.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be more outrage.

http://robertreich.org/

Anonymous said...

"Our apartment was renovated November 2013 and last and original tenant (who passed away) was paying $1201 in October 2013. WE are paying $3350. The lease shows that the 'improvements', - new kitchen, new bath, stove, fridge, closets, lights , etc........ total over $1700 in increases allowed per month! per month!

Could this be accurate or is this total BS? We're in a one bedroom."

This is plausible. Here are the increases:
Vacancy increase: 20% for a 2-yr lease ($240), 16.25% for a 1-year lease.
Longevity increase (for leases that haven't turned over in 8 years): 0.6% for each year the previous tenant was in the apartment. If the previous tenant was indeed in the apartment for 65 years, that's about another $468.
Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI): In your case, 1/60 the cost of the renovation. Figure $1,200 but could be more (they're putting in Wolf stoves that retail for $4,000). Your kitchen and bathroom have been completely redone. You have appliances that unrenovated tenants don't have--a dishwasher and microwave. Your A/C cost is included in the rent (app. $25 per month per air conditioner for unrenovated tenants), and you didn't have to buy your own A/C. The machines we have are very expensive--about $1,000 each.

That gets you to $3,112, and I'm just guessing at the cost of the renos and the longevity increase. If the original tenant hadn't opted to have the apartment rewired for A/C, that would have been another IAI cost.

Maybe you are being overcharged, but it's not that hard to get the rent up. The way things are here, you may actually have a bargain because you're the first in a newly renovated apartment formerly occupied by an original tenant so you started from the lowest possible base.

Anonymous said...

8:47 pm you are being overcharged and your apartment was illegally deregulated. If previous tenant was paying $1200, with vacancy and renovations it would only be a few hundred increase. The apartment should still be well under $1700 per month. Immediately go to DHCR and fill out the overcharge complaint so you can get it on record to get all your money back.

Anonymous said...

The TA and their lawyer should be fighting, not negotiating, but fighting and outright refusing the unfair unjustly implemented MCI charges as they promised in the meeting last year.

What are they doing?

Anonymous said...

2:06. Noooooo. They redid the whole place of the op. Renovated. But ac is additional now. All new leases have 55 or more in ac each month

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
8:47 pm you are being overcharged and your apartment was illegally deregulated. If previous tenant was paying $1200, with vacancy and renovations it would only be a few hundred increase. The apartment should still be well under $1700 per month. Immediately go to DHCR and fill out the overcharge complaint so you can get it on record to get all your money back.

March 16, 2014 at 2:06 PM"

Sorry, but your figures are not accurate in any way. See my response, which precedes yours.

Anonymous said...

OK, so here's a ?

can a landlord claim they put $200k of upgrades into a place?

is there a cap? gold floors, silver walls….

Then the rent could be (RS) 10,000 a month, due to upgrades… w.t.h. ;)

Anonymous said...

Look 8:47PM the only way to find out if you are being overcharged is to go to DHCR. Give them the information and they can tell within a few minutes.
People on this blog are saying yes you are and some are saying no you are not. You don't know any of these people. Some may be trying to cover up the overcharges.
You need to get the facts on your apartment calculations from DHCR.
Everyone I know in apartments that went from around $1000 to over $3000 are being overcharged and got confirmation on that from DHCR.
Go there.

Anonymous said...

2:07 that meeting was a waste of our time.
They have done nothing to help us tenants on the MCI's which are plain WRONG.
A lawyer with true intentions to help all tenants would have had the MCI's tossed out already.

Anonymous said...

To 8:47 PM
They would have had to of installed over $115,000 in renovation work to get your apartment from $1210 to $3350.
They are not investing $115,000 in renovating each apartment. If they are claiming it - someone needs to audit the receipts and kickbacks. There is not $115,000 worth of renovation in the apartment.
There is no legal way for the rent to go from $1210 to $3350.

Anonymous said...

Go to DHCR so they can calculate it for you. You are being overcharged.

http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/factsheets/orafac26.htm

Anonymous said...

8:47 p.m. Definitely pursue this with DHCR because any overcharge is too much. But educate yourself first so that you know what the law says is permissible. That way you'll have a better idea of what is fishy.

Review your lease to see if the vacancy allowance was computed correctly. Review the details of the renovation cost (the place the landlord can really cook the books because it's not clear that anyone validates the costs). Check the longevity increase.

The DHCR website has many fact sheets that are usually easy to understand, even if they don't answer all your questions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Ita. All th new (ahem) apartments are priced at 0ver 3k at minimum. So we all know that they claim there hav now been 150,000 dollars put into it. This is laughable as they have not. Yet as I link over the DHCR site I don't see who checks on this. Any schmuck landlord can say they paints walls with copper and gold , yet did not. Is chomg. 150k Reno. And who is stopping them. No one checks on them. This is not the math problem. His is a landlord lying. Hmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

"They would have had to of installed over $115,000 in renovation work to get your apartment from $1210 to $3350.
They are not investing $115,000 in renovating each apartment. If they are claiming it - someone needs to audit the receipts and kickbacks. There is not $115,000 worth of renovation in the apartment.
There is no legal way for the rent to go from $1210 to $3350."

Please see what I posted at 12:17 p.m. Reno costs are not the only part of the increase. I estimated reno costs of $72,000. However, reno costs are the place landlords can fudge things, and they're supposed to substantiate what they paid, preferably in cash, according to DHCR.

Bottom line: anyone who says the rent can't possibly be increased this much is not doing the real math. But enough with this fruitless big-lie argument. 8:47 p.m. should deal with DHCR and report back here.

Anonymous said...

I walked by the peace and quiet that is the first ave loop for only a little more time.
How loud will the industrial equipment be that runs the massive office building?

Anonymous said...

7:10 Who made you the be all and end all boss of this blog calling anyone who disagrees with you a liar of the "big fruitless kind"?
9:37 's numbers add up to me.
People can have different opinions. We all don't have to follow you blindly and take your word as gospel but you sure think everyone should.
Are you threatened by people realizing they are being overcharged and getting their money back? Cause you sure sound like you are.
Unless you work at DHCR and you have all the facts - you are not qualified to tell people they are not being overcharged. So let them find out for themselves. I would doubt if the previous tenant lived there for 65 years as you calculated. At $1210 there was at least one vacancy turnover in its history.

Anonymous said...

att. Airbnb illegal renters: http://nypost.com/2014/03/18/comedian-laughs-off-airbnb-orgy-hosted-at-his-apartment/

Anonymous said...

11:40 . At least one turnover most likely - yes. But 1200-3500 is a huge jump.

? - Does anyone ever check on this 100,000$ renovation: Anyone can claim they put in viking stoves and marble floors and pellar windows and central a/c - but DHC needs to physically check. When have they or wil they?

Anonymous said...

In today's NYC news:

Because The rent Won't Wait

While the landlords and bosses continue to capture more and more of the vast surplus value created by New York City, the families and workers that make it run are being squeezed out.

After all, New York City politicians are notoriously beholden to the capitalist trifecta of finance, insurance and real estate that have dominated city politics for decades.

Since 2000, rents in New York City have increased 18 percent, while incomes have fallen by more than 7 percent, leaving many families strapped, destitute or homeless.

Such a situation is not only incredibly unjust but completely unsustainable.

How long, one has to wonder, before the entire city is completely stripped of its working class?

This is just the beginning.....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-blueher/because-the-rent-wont-wait_b_4976292.html

Anonymous said...

"The TA and their lawyer should be fighting, not negotiating, but fighting and outright refusing the unfair unjustly implemented MCI charges as they promised in the meeting last year."

Get a grip there, Rocky. Fight who exactly? The state agency in charge of this crap OKed the MCI increases. If negotiations don't work out, then we can start filing PARs.

CWC looks to be entering sell-mode and desperately wants those permanent MCI increases to bump up property value. We desperately need relief from the constant $$ increases. Negotiations could take a while.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you 12 24. The MCI charges were pushed through without due process.
On that alone they should be halted until further due diligence and then investigated for the way they were pushed through.
I heard there is a tenant group fighting the practices on the MCI charges and illegal increases and random overcharges in their leasing practices.
Does anyone know who and how to get involved?

Anonymous said...

"Anyone can claim they put in viking stoves"

A few months ago I saw boxes with Wolf or Viking stoves being delivered. An online check showed that the cheapest, i.e., narrowest one retails for $4,000, although CW undoubtedly pays less. Older renos probably have different appliances, but we know that some apartments are being renovated at least in part a second time, based on comments online.

Anonymous said...

7:10 Who made you the be all and end all boss of this blog calling anyone who disagrees with you a liar of the "big fruitless kind"?

No one. But repeating the same thing over and over without substantiating it is what's known as a big lie. I think the other poster is underinformed and sticking to a clearly in accurate scenario. The vacancy increase alone is about $240.

9:37 's numbers add up to me.

Why? There's no itemized list and the numbers appear to be conjecture and don't take into account the various ways that the rent can be hiked--which I laid out very specifically.

People can have different opinions. We all don't have to follow you blindly and take your word as gospel but you sure think everyone should.

Now I'm laughing because no one else has presented any formula for how the rent increase should be calculated. I showed one certain increase--the vacancy increase. The rest were estimates, as I noted. People can have opinions, but it helps to know the facts of what DHCR allows to inform them.

Are you threatened by people realizing they are being overcharged and getting their money back? Cause you sure sound like you are.

Am I threatened? By what exactly? I would like to turn back time to when MetLife was a private company and running this place properly. What other people pay is of no threat to me, and I'd like to see everyone pay as little as possible within reason. Really.

Unless you work at DHCR and you have all the facts - you are not qualified to tell people they are not being overcharged. So let them find out for themselves. I would doubt if the previous tenant lived there for 65 years as you calculated. At $1210 there was at least one vacancy turnover in its history.

If you read my comments carefully, you'll see that I say that the tenant should indeed contact DHCR. I said that the increase was plausible because of all the ways that the rent can be increased (which I detailed). I did not say that this tenant wasn't being overcharged, just that even a rough estimate can come close to the current rent. I think my estimate of the reno cost may have even been low. I didn't even include the RGB increase. I don't work for DHCR, but I've read their fact sheets (easily available online) and I've followed the situation here closely. I used 65 years as an estimate for the longevity increase because the original poster said the apartment had been vacated by an original tenant. I didn't make that up. Even if there was indeed one turnover, it was probably a long time ago (because the tenant said the previous tenant was original). That would reduce the longevity increase somewhat, but probably not a lot in dollars.

If this response doesn't satisfy you, you can always put forth a different scenario based on what the rent regulations allow. Ultimately, the increase for the apartment in question has to be more than a few hundred dollars, and the tenant should get the answer from DHCR. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

The chances of the DHCR being reformed? Zero to none. As long as we have our "New York pretend-Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo"


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/18/1285706/-That-Hitler-billionaire-guy-He-s-Cuomo-s-BFF-of-course

Anonymous said...

"The MCI charges were pushed through without due process."

That's been our contention thru the years that the DHCR just rubber stamps MCI owner applications. It's my understanding that TA reps and reps from other tenants groups have spoken to Cuomo's office about it directly.

In the case of these latest MCI approvals, the TA attorney filed a Request for Reconsideration calling out the DHCR’s lack of interest in specific objections by tenants and our attorneys. He also called out the DHCR for their MCI procedures in general. That caused the DHCR to rescind their approval of the 3 MCI applications for "further consideration" and put CWC in negotiating mode because they want these increases now to bump up property value (in advance of a sale?).

There are plenty of tenants groups who work on opposing the MCI law as currently written (as well as pushing for repeal of the Urstadt Law, vacancy decontrol, etc). TenantsPAC is now the umbrella group for Met Council, Tenants & Neighbors, et al.

Anonymous said...

There are individual tenants collectively operating as a group.
Individual tenants can write to
Commissioner of the DEC Joseph Martens to demand the mandatory report on soil contamination that was supposed to be done BEFORE any excavation releasing toxins into our air and water.
Commissioner of the Tenant Protection Unit Richard R White for audits on rents, increases, charges, renovation costs, etc.

You may or may not get an honest answer (they are Cuomo appointees) but you will get it on record the issue has been raised and maybe you will even get an honest reply.

Doesn't hurt to do it.