Everywhere you look, you see CW screwing with tenants, both RS and MR, any way they can. The Roberts settlement and payouts, the MCIs, and undoubtedly more MCIs on the way (the new Public Safety office, the new management office, more walkway repaving to be done, etc.).
Today there was a comment on the TA Facebook page about someone overhearing at least two rental agents advising prospective renters to use Oval Concierge because their packages would get left in the lobby and, presumably, possibly stolen.
Just think: We are paying an MCI for an award-winning security system with over a thousand cameras, including cameras in lobbies, and yet the crime of packages being stolen from the lobby cannot be solved by our crack Public Safety department. But...you can have your packages delivered to Oval Concierge--at a price, of course.
We have, however, right before us, a potential legal problem for CW, or any landlord, that could shatter the normal way things are run around here. I've noted this problem in the past and am surprised that the TA seems not to have considered it, though with the lack of transparency in that organization, it is possible they have considered it, but aren't telling us their thoughts on the matter.
I'm speaking of the filings to the DOB regarding partition additions, like the one below. (Click on graphic to make larger.)
As one STR reader wrote me:
"The physical modifications to the apartments should have been fought with a restraining order and should now be fought in just the same way. The tenants have all of the ammunition they need. Management submitted false building permits, or made false statements to the building department. A lawsuit to reverse the modifications would stop the current construction and would probably win."
Has the TA looked into these filings? If so, what's been the response from their lawyers? It is inconceivable to me that we can't fight these filings as falsely stating that there is "no change in use, egress or occupancy" with the addition of partitions in an apartment, partitions that can then change a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom, or a two-bedroom to a three bedroom!
When I first addressed this concern, probably years ago, I suspected that the TA didn't want to get involved in any lawsuit because it would put the sale of this complex (to tenants, the TA hoped) in a holding pattern that could extend for years.
But CW is not our friend. Nor was Tishman-Speyer. We have to fight everything here, even such minor things like the "For Residents and Their Guests" enforcement at Oval Cafe and the greenmarket. Why is the TA not mandating that zoning rules for both the cafe and greenmarket be enforced?
And why is there no fight against putting more than three unrelated individuals into an apartment, something against rental law in NYC?
It amazes me at times, and dispirits me, that there's just zero "take-no-prisoners" attitude regarding the battles that we should be engaging in.
Meanwhile, week after week, management continues to find any justification to shaft tenants and make them pay more for "affordable housing." In case you haven't noticed it, management is winning; we are losing.
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