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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's Wrong with This?

A new post on the TA website:

http://www.stpcvta.org/ta/post/managements-unauthorized-entry-in-styvesant-town-is-terrorizing-tenants

Management’s Unauthorized Entry Is Terrorizing Tenants

Recently, several tenants have reported that management is entering their apartments with very little notice to replace piping in their kitchen in support of renovating the kitchen in the adjoining vacant apartment or to do other nonemergency work.

Although the work may be necessary, not giving sufficient notice most definitely is not.

The Tenants Association was recently informed of a case where notice was given on a Thursday and management indicated it would enter the following Monday. That’s just four calendar days; the city requires seven calendar days.

If the tenant does not respond to the short notice, management assumes permission to enter. In some cases, tenants report they did not give management authorization at all, but their apartments were entered anyway. One tenant returned from vacation to find her cabinets emptied, and their contents strewn on the counters—with no explanation.

Workers enter, remove items in the kitchen cabinets, the cabinets themselves, and render the sink unworkable. The work takes one to two days to complete and renders the kitchen unusable. Despite the gross inconvenience, management has not offered to compensate affected tenants for the loss of use of the kitchen and the disruption to the tenants’ right to quiet enjoyment of their homes.

DHCR rules state that the demand for access must be reasonable and concern repairs or improvements as required by law or authorized by the DHCR. City rules state that, except for emergencies, proper notice must be given in writing one week in advance.

Without a tenant’s explicit permission, management cannot enter for nonemergency repairs, and these renovations are not emergencies.

If something similar has happened to you or a neighbor, please let us know by calling our Message Center at (866) 290-9036 or at stpcvta.org/contact.

Management surely knows more than a week in advance when a renovation will start—they have to schedule supply deliveries, contractors, and workers. They could easily contact tenants in nearby occupied apartments to give ample advance warning. This is especially important in the summer, when people are more likely to be away for longer vacations.

If an unrenovated apartment adjacent to yours—above, below, or on either side—has been vacated, call management to ask for the renovation schedule and whether your apartment will be affected. If management won’t give you the information and you plan to be out of town, leave a note on your door saying you do not give permission to enter and document it with a photo.

As a result of the mounting reports to the Tenants Association and the lack of clarity regarding access, and since the rule about notice is governed by city law, Councilman Dan Garodnick will be introducing new legislation in the City Council. The goal of this legislation is to tighten the rule governing the process of notice the owner or landlord must follow before entering an apartment. Councilman Garodnick will submit the following:

1. A provision that all notices (in addition to having a call-back phone number) must also offer an electronic means (by email or Internet) for the tenant to communicate a scheduling change.
2. A requirement that all notices requesting apartment access be dated.
3. Notices must be sent to the email address of the tenant if the owner has one on file
4. Consent should not be assumed if the tenant is silent; however, owner can enter the apartment after 14 calendar days have passed with no response.

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

Okay, STR here.  Do note some of the following in the above information:

"That’s just four calendar days; the city requires seven calendar days."

"City rules state that, except for emergencies, proper notice must be given in writing one week in advance."

"Without a tenant’s explicit permission, management cannot enter for nonemergency repairs, and these renovations are not emergencies."

So, the BIG QUESTIONS: Why is there need for new legislation, which may never pass and which takes time to be brought up before the Council?? Why is there not legal action from the TA against CWCapital/CompassRock for violations of the current city rules? Why is it always the same--violations happening all over the place and all we get is talk of new legislation to be proposed when there is already legislation on the books? Why? Why?

And so the game gets played the same old way....

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

STR, a tenant complained about this kind of situation recently on facebook. John Marsh posted a lengthy and detailed -- and, I believe, very helpful-- response with specific advice about what that tenant, and other tenants facing the same problem, should do, including filing a complaint with the City. As he pointed out correctly, only the tenant -- not the TA -- has standing in a complaint before the City.

I have a question: when you say that the TA should take "legal action," what legal action, exactly, do you have in mind? A lawsuit of some kind? You say that legislation "takes time to be brought up before the Council." Are you under the impression that a lawsuit would be faster?? Because wow, that's so not the case. (Remember Roberts?)

As to the proposed legislation, I'm surprised that you don't find the proposed tightening of the City's rules to be desirable and helpful.

And no, I am not a TA or Garodnick shill. I am just another tenant, who is often surprised at the extreme negativity on this blog. Being a long-time reader, I probably should not be surprised. But this post -- well, in this post, I think, you are really over-reaching in an attempt to find fault with whatever the TA does.

Anonymous said...

Had the painters in my bathroom last week. The Paint Supervisor just walked into my apartment without knocking. No class. No manners. Typical CW/CR.

Anonymous said...

It's all for show with these clowns to make it look like they are doing something while they are doing nothing. They do more harm then good. Agree with STR why isn't the TA reporting the violations and bringing legal actions as a good TA would do and should do on behalf of the tenants. Why the hush hush cover up with new legislation that will take time and buy CW time to keep doing these things to us? We need to report these violations now and loudly and on record and not let the Dan TA cover it up!!!

Plus
We had apartments renovated on both sides of us and they never had to enter into our apartment. This sounds fishy. They are doing something else.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right on all points STR.
The TA is covering it up.
A good Tenant Association would report this harassment to the NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and have each harassed tenant send a letter to the NY Attorney General about their story of harassment.
They would report the practice occurring in PCV ST as the rampant, common occurrence it is, in writing to the Commissioner of DHCR.
This has to be reported!
Its time to stop the cover ups!

Attention:
Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341

Anonymous said...

I am a longtime TA supporter, but I am fed-up with them not pursuing legal action where it is clearly indicated. We should be suing CWC for tenant harassment and illegal entry. They could care less about tenants and demonstrate it every opportunity they get. IT'S WAY PAST TIME TO PLAY HARDBALL WITH CWCAPITAL.

Anonymous said...

How about reporting it to city officials? Whether or not they do anything get it on record and on their agendas. If they do nothing tell the world they did nothing. If the do address it - great!

Some places to report it

Vicki Breen
Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner
100 Gold Street
New York, NY 10038

Here is what they do:
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the largest municipal housing preservation and development agency in the nation. The agency’s mission is to promote housing equality and create and sustain viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers though housing education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing standards.

Report it to DHCR Commissioner Darryl C Towns.

Report it to the New York Attorney General Schneiderman

Heck, go all the way and report it to Preet Bharara too. No doubt this harassment and all the acts (illegal charges and increases, illegal leasing practices, illegal apartment entering, illegal renovation gouging, etc etc etc
Its up to us tenants to report this because the Tenant Association is not doiing what they should be doing but instead are part of the cover up

So google the contact information for the above people and write to them directly.

What is going on to us in PCVST is not OK.

Anonymous said...

Given this landlord has been hostile and has abused the laws and loopholes you would think Dan would take the lessons learned from his community and write a better, stronger law. I hope his law does not pass because it is too damn weak the way it is written.

STR is right on this pretense by Dan and his puppets.

We need better protection.
We need better lawmakers.
We need a real Tenant Association.

Anonymous said...

Knowing what we now know, I find it deceitful the Tenant Association uses the Real Estate Weekly Town & Village Newsletter to communicate to tenants.
Pushing the Real Estate agenda on us has got to stop.
We need real press coverage from a real Tenant Association.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I have a question: when you say that the TA should take "legal action," what legal action, exactly, do you have in mind? A lawsuit of some kind? You say that legislation "takes time to be brought up before the Council." Are you under the impression that a lawsuit would be faster?? Because wow, that's so not the case. (Remember Roberts?)<<

Yes, the TA should take legal action. If such action requires the sole involvement of the tenant, the TA certainly can support and guide and help with legal advice from its lawyers, instead of running off to Garodnick, who promises "new legislation." The TA can also gather such tenants together for a class action lawsuit. If it takes a long time? So what? If the TA had stepped up to take legal action years ago on a variety of matters, those "take so long" lawsuits would already be settled or be in the process of being settled.

Nothing is being done now except talk and pipe dreams of "new legislation."

Anonymous said...

And one more thing on my above 2 comments, we need to use our own voices and stop enabling those who do not represent us to pretend to be our voice and our vote at negotiating tables and against these offenses.
We need to use our own voices.

Anonymous said...

9:52 that is wrong.

You said "As he pointed out correctly, only the tenant -- not the TA -- has standing in a complaint before the City. "

Then Marsh should NOT have had us sign a pledge that he will be our voice with all the City Agencies. And he should not be at the table at negotiations with DHCR and de Blasio admin on the sale.

If Marsh has no standing before the City then he should stop acting as if he does have standing because every City deal he has made has cost the tenants dearly eg the MCI

Which is it - no standing - or complete standing? He pretends both ways depending on what is convenient for him.

Fact of the matter is he does not understand or have any grasp of the responsibility of his position and the things he could do if he were
1. on the side of the tenants and not the Brookfield buyers
2. a real leader with the skill set of what it takes to lead.

Being in a position or job title of leadership does not make the leader. In this case it makes the entire community vulnerable to abuse. As evident by the past 7 years.

Anonymous said...

That is a big problem 9:52

The TA represents pcvst to the City in a cannoli meeting in Dan's apartment to plot a purchase but the TA say they do not have standing to represent pcvst to the City when tenants rights are violated.

That is THE problem with this TA.

They need to have developed a standing with the City on tenants Rights violations as the TA to the biggest residential community in NYC.

That would have yielded the needed power to do good for tenants and preserve our community. Instead they use the clout of the enormity of our community to suit their needs, plotting their purchase and endorsing their TA chosen politicians.

They are not representing this community to the City when they are supposed to but rather are doing so when it suits them.

We are being violated, harassed, overcharged, evicted and abused.

Anonymous said...

What was the December pledge they had us sign all about if they are not going to do what they are supposed to and if they say they have no standing with the City agencies?

That pledge was nothing more than getting the tenants to keep quiet or shut up so the TA could "represent us to the City agencies" to allow the construction, the mci increases that benefit the landlord/owners and the purchase for Brookfield.

The pledge was a RUSE.

When asked why we had to agree to let them speak for us on all matters DOB, etc in the pledge - they said "we can't have tenants giving their voices and opinions, we need to have only one opinion."

Anonymous said...

Wow, Just Wow.
A TA tenant bid will be bad for tenants but good for Pols and RE.

If they have no standing with the City on matters of tenant violations (which is when they actually have the most standing), but if as they say they have no standing at those times, then it is as we suspected and they have no standing with the City in the tenant bid but are merely allowing the politicians and RE make the deal and the TA are reporting to us the deal we have to take "as is".

Tenants will not get the best deal if this TA is at the negotiating table playing "audience" then reporting back to tenants the deal we have to take. Just like they did with the MCI they will do with our purchase bid. It will not be a good deal for tenants. It will be a great deal for the sellers, the politicians, the Brookfields. People like that, the Brookfields, the CWC's the Politicians don't do deals unless it benefits themselves best.

Anonymous said...

Why is there need for new legislation?

Because our landlord may be taking advantage of loopholes in the law and claiming to be complying when it's not. So...

1 and 3. They are probably claiming that their phone calls or under-door notices were ignored by tenants. Tenants are probably reporting that they got no notices of any kind. It then becomes their word against the tenant. Requiring verifiable emails clears that up.

2. Apparently notices don't have to be dated. So CampusRock can claim they called to notify you whenever. Then it's another matter of they say you say. This is probably for cases where the tenant doesn't have, or refuses to provide, an email address.

4. That just seems more reasonable than 7 days.

Anonymous said...

We are trying to challenge the NYU campus MCI charges (for plumbing and security). Back then DHCR said "well the Tenant Association signed off on it" implying we had no standing because the TA had standing to sign off for us. If the TA has no standing with the City agencies to stand up for us tenants but has standing with the City Agencies to tell us tenants what to do then they are working for the City and not the tenants.

Bottomline the TA did NOT have standing to sign off on the MCI charges. We do NOT have to accept them as is. We should not be paying for the NYU campus plumbing water valves, pavement, elevator, security charges.

The TA had NO standing to sign off on it and had no standing to negotiate it. I doubt they did any negotiating at all but sat there like a bump on a log then reported back to us what the new owners and old owners both wanted - to increase the RS rents. And that is precisely what they did.

Guterman is right - we need someone who stands up for tenants rights doing the talking.

Anonymous said...

As Marsh stated: the TA does not have standing to take legal action in cases of unauthorized non-emergency entries, only the affected tenant does.

If enough tenants file 311 complaints over unauthorized non-emergency entries by mgmt, record them and then pass them along to Garodnick and CB 6 then a pattern of harassment can be established and maybe then city officials can involve themselves directly.

As Marsh further stated, unauthorized non-emergency entries by mgmt are covered by city law, not state law. So demanding that we report this to New York State Attorney General Schneiderman is pointless.

I'm with August 20, 2014 at 9:52 PM. It's like any excuse to trash Marsh or the TA is what's for dinner here on STR. It's getting stale.

Anonymous said...

Ita w str. Just fake bs from fake ta who has no power. Let's have the ta wri
The up a law like stopping at stopsigns. Moronic Dan is dumber every day

Anonymous said...

Wow! All this action and lawsuits the TA could undertake for only $35 a year. Membership really is a bargain.

Raymond Burr said...

For all those who want legal action, reach into your pockets. In case you haven't retained an attorney lately, the costs run into thousands and thousands of dollars. To start lawsuits at the drop of a hat,which you all seem to want, tenants would need to pay at least $100 a year and possibly more for TA membership. I doubt that would sell.

Anonymous said...

Der. We don't need a lawsuit for the TA to enforce laws already in place!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, 12:06 PM. Too true.

What tenants ARE getting for free are the volunteers who collect info on individual tenant complaints, do legal research where necessary, phone tenants back to verify those complaints, track and organize those complaints, compile the data on those complaints, and analyze that data before presenting it to city or state official or expensive attorney.


Anonymous said...

August 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM and August 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Apparently you two didn't read the comments on another thread about how the TA could be using legal interns to mount multiple lawsuits. No kidding, they were for real.

Anonymous said...

Yes the Attorney General can get involved when disgustingly bad landlords do these things.

Some pols are speaking out against Croman and supporting the Attorney General. But when it comes to pcvst the many of the Pols hands are dirty, neck deep in the deal.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating allegedly illegal tactics used by Manhattan landlord Steven Croman to force out rent stabilized tenants. - See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/07/26/ag-to-investigate-landlords-alleged-campaign-of-intimidation/#sthash.ZWbNfkYu.dpuf

http://thevillager.com/2014/08/07/croman-pattern-of-harassment-must-end-pols-say/
http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/07/26/ag-to-investigate-landlords-alleged-campaign-of-intimidation/

Anonymous said...

This TA has blown through hundreds of thousands of dollars and not used it to help tenants, not once. A lawsuit is what we need and now.

Anonymous said...

August 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM

You're mixing apples and oranges. The TA has no legal standing to file a 311 complaint for you if mgmt enters your apt in a non-emergency.

But the DHCR says the TA did have standing with regards to negotiating the MCI deal.

What do you mean, trying to challenge? According to the deal agreed to, one PAR filed after the agreed-to deal would have tanked the entire deal. There was some kind of window, 30 or 60 days I believe to file a PAR after the negotiation was agreed to. The deal still stands, so I assume no PARs were filed.

Anonymous said...

Ok to give out this website? We're new tenants and angered in just a few months.

Anonymous said...

TO STR: I have seen the post that John Marsh submitted to you on this topic. You have declined to post that, yet post the RANTINGS and RAVINGS of others? So much for your integrity. You are, quite simply, a COWARD, sir. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

With all of the pitt bulls roaming the hallways it's amazing the maintenance workers can even get into an apartment without geeing attacked.

Anonymous said...

11:20 you can't argue with the facts. Fact is the TA does not do right by the tenants. I have not seen TA bashing but I have seen a lot of real examples on how the TA is not doing what they should be doing. This is a self-serving TA.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>TO STR: I have seen the post that John Marsh submitted to you on this topic. You have declined to post that, yet post the RANTINGS and RAVINGS of others? So much for your integrity. You are, quite simply, a COWARD, sir. Shame on you.<<

I have no idea what you are talking about. I pass every post from Marsh.

Anonymous said...

2:27 Yes share this website with anyone and everyone and tell them to start reading from December 2013 posts and comments to resent to get a sense of what is going on in PCV ST.

Anonymous said...

So Marsh is posting anonymously? Marsh holds an official position on the Tenant Association Board of Directors and is making comments anonymously? Why doesn't he use his name? 3:02 you are obviously a TA troll. Are you the same troll who is always name calling tenants on these threads this year? We see who you are and the name calling and bashing of tenants that you are doing is plain wrong. The TA needs to stop bashing the tenants who speak up to protect the community.

John Marsh said...

STR, just sent you an email so you can validate this was me... Now I see why it never made it to you this AM. The 4096 limit.
------

PART 1:

Some of the posters here are so incredibly misinformed. And are awfully disparaging to a group of volunteers who work so incredibly hard for no compensation.
Moreover, to those who disparage our good Councilman Garodnick, shame on you. We have never had an elected representative who has worked as hard for this community than Dan Garodnick. As hard as he works, he can't fix everything. The TA can't fix everything either.

All this hate and vehemence is done from the safety of anonymity I might add. Have some courage folks and sign your name, I did. At least get a handle or an alias so people can follow the conversation. 'A at 11:22' said this, 'A at 13:49' said that. My head hurts just trying to keep who said what.

And format your posts. They read like manifestos written by serial killers. Have you heard of paragraph breaks? Whitespace, leading?
Good lord there is so much mis-information here I don't even know where to start debunking it all.

1) The tenant has standing, the TA does not.
2) Suing requires a tenant to sue, the TA can't (again the standing issue.)
3) The TA can be given limited standing by tenants before administrative agencies like DHCR. That still requires tenant participation.
4) The violation in this context is known as Civil Trespass, only the tenant has standing to file a complaint.
5) Civil trespass is extremely hard to prove, hence the call for more accountability via legislative action. Because after hearing scores of complaints during the inspection saga the TA learned there was no accountability.
A) Notices in some cases were not dated or never received at all.
​ ​B) Tenants called, got no one but a voice mail, leaving their date change, only to be walked in on anyway.
​ C) The rule is ancient and written before fax machines were made. (ya know, heard of something call reform? Updating a rule to adapt to current needs?)​
​ ​D) If the tenant didn't respond to the notice because they were away, too bad, they went in anyway.

The request for legislation is for curing some of these issues. Like, having a way to DOCUMENT that you made a request for an appointment via email/Internet. By requiring notice using tools available in the second decade of this millennia, and by increasing the amount of time that must pass before the right to enter is granted by default.

The TA recognized that without improving the rule around notice it would be very hard if not impossible to prove civil trespass. ​City Enforcement and the ​AG will only act on actionable evidence. It takes a lot of 'founded' complaints to even get AG attention.

Oh, those evil TA'ers, there they go again, thinking things through, working to change the law that allows the bad behavior in the first place. No let's just sue!

Harassment? Really? To those who throw this word around you should feel what true harassment is. We don't know true harassment. We have it pretty good here when it comes to the conditions of our homes.

John Marsh said...

Part 2
-------
True harassment is when the landlord purposely turns off your hot water, denies repairs, heat, not cash your rent check. Harassment means doing something to harm with intent and malice.

Harassment is not doing stupid stuff and dumb stuff like we all know our landlord does. Like noisy concerts, installing a multi-million dollar heat regulation system that doesn't work, closing off a means of egress to a building, poor scheduling and piss-poor project planning.
Those are quality of life issues, landlord dumbness issues, not harassment.

Harassment is not bad policies.

Every time a tenant contacts the TA we tell them their rights, how to complain effectively and to whom.

A good TA educates tenants on how to stand up for themselves and guides them to the tools to do it.

As for the coward "anonymous August 21, 2014 at 9:19 AM" I will publicly debate you anytime if you dare show your face. But I will not debate someone who takes pot shots at someone's character​ ​while​ hiding behind the mask of anonymity. -- John Marsh​

Anonymous said...

a COWARD in all caps?!?! Puhlease. STR is the only one providing an honest public forum for tenants. That takes balls. And patience. I don't know STR but I would not describe STR as an all caps COWARD. Your statement is a sign of your character.

Anonymous said...

August 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Hundreds of thousands? Really? I suppose you did an audit, right?

This really is the place to come for outrageous hyperbole and outright crazee.

Anonymous said...

August 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Please learn the difference between facts and opinions.

Anonymous said...

August 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Those tenants amassed a series of 311 complaints which demonstrated a pattern of harassment that the AG was able to begin building a case on.

Again, the TA cannot legally file 311 complaints for us. But if individual tenants file 311 complaints and complaint numbers are forwarded to CB6, Garodnick, and the TA, a pattern of illegal behavior can get established. So what Garodnick and the TA are doing now is: (a) closing loopholes in the law that give our landlord plausible deniability regarding entry notices and (b) compiling data on unauthorized entries to help establish a pattern.

According to Marsh, there is no state law against unauthorized entries, but there is a city law that deals with it. So that would seem the logical tree to bark up.

But go ahead and start demanding calls Schneiderman every time our landlord pulls crap. Don't be surprised when the AG's office stops returning calls about STPCV.

Anonymous said...

****Der. We don't need a lawsuit for the TA to enforce laws already in place!!!!!!!!****

The TA's job is not to enforce the law. That's the city's job. And the city can't enforce the law if tenants don't file 311 complaints.

Anonymous said...

August 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

What did they blow it on? A luxurious summer pad in the Rockaways? Plush offices over the senior lounge? Whitewater rafting adventures on the Colorado River? C'mon, spill!!!!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>John Marsh said...

STR, just sent you an email so you can validate this was me... Now I see why it never made it to you this AM. The 4096 limit.<<

I think I'm due an apology from one of your members.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Moreover, to those who disparage our good Councilman Garodnick, shame on you. We have never had an elected representative who has worked as hard for this community than Dan Garodnick.<<

I lost my respect for Garodnick several times in the past: when he signed on with real estate giant Vornado to demolish Hotel Pennsylvania and replace it with a mega-tower that would hide the Empire State Building; when he accepted big campaign donations from real estate giants, including Vornado; when he took a firm stance on proper zoning for commercial enterprises at the Oval which didn't turn out that firm; when he decided to run for a third term, taking advantage of the successful maneuver by Bloomberg and most of the City Council to overrule the people's vote on the matter of term limits. Gardonick voted against the extension (rightly), but when it suited him he took advantage of it. Major hypocrite.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>And format your posts. They read like manifestos written by serial killers. Have you heard of paragraph breaks? Whitespace, leading?<<

This is bullshit painting of all commentators who are not posting pro-TA comments. Most of the comments here are formatted correctly, thank you.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>The tenant has standing, the TA does not.<<

So what's the purpose of the TA?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Civil trespass is extremely hard to prove, hence the call for more accountability via legislative action. Because after hearing scores of complaints during the inspection saga the TA learned there was no accountability.<<

Yes, so let's pass some new legislation.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

BTW, do people remember not too long ago there were major complaints from tenants about construction noise at several places in Stuy Town? What was the response from Garodnick? We need to pass new legislation. Even though legislation on noise is already in the books, we still need to pass new legislation. We can't enforce the legislation we have, so we have to pass new legislation. Gee, I wonder if that "new legislation" is still dying a slow death in the City Council, as it did the previous year?

Anonymous said...

A debate? A challenge to a duel? What?

"As for the coward "anonymous August 21, 2014 at 9:19 AM" I will publicly debate you anytime if you dare show your face. But I will not debate someone who takes pot shots at someone's character​ ​while​ hiding behind the mask of anonymity." --John Marsh​

9:19 is saying we need leadership. Not debates. Debates are for politicians. The way Mr Marsh should have dispelled any of this is by succeeding at standing up for the tenants on any of the issues raised on this blog. Just do your job and a good job. Instead Mr Marsh picks a fight with a tenant. There is no arguing the TA Board failed the community.

As for calling the tenant a coward, that is unacceptable for a Board member to call a tenant.
We need a TA Board with thick skin and backbone.

I really don't like a TA that calls tenants "coward" or any of the name calling the TA uses on this blog in attempts to intimidate tenants from speaking out and standing up for the community.

If tenants need anonymity it is because the TA allowed a culture of fear to develop instead of being a strong TA and empowering tenants.
The size of this tenant base is what should be feared but it has never been used as an empowered force to be reckoned with.

PCVST does not need the "challenge to a duel" mentality. PCVST does need a stronger TA leader with the right goals.

How we became 4000 NYU dorms without a whimper from this TA board is unacceptable.

Agree someone owes STR an apology for calling him a coward and John Marsh owes an apology to 9:19 for calling him a coward and owes everyone an apology for the serial killer manifesto reference. Not funny.

I agree with STR 10:05 -- What is a TA for if it is not about a collective power of individual tenants used as a force to be reckoned with. Actually I agree with all the STR comments at the end of this thread. Dan is a big disappointment. He too let down the community.

Let's try with Guterman and see if we can empower ourselves as a strong, large tenant base even though we are half the size we were 5 years ago.

Signed
Anonymous and proud of it.

Gerald Guterman said...

Entering your apartment for anything but an absolute, provable emergency is nonsense.

Here is some "free" advice.

Change the locks now and then filoe a formal complaint with HCR. Immediatly thereafter, file a formal complaint with LT Court.

This latest abuse of "Home Invasion" should be handled in court, but only after you stop it cold. That means everyone change their locks immediatly. This plumbing work is for the landlord's convenience and has nothing to do with safety.

Your right to privacy is more important than his invasion.

All of you together change the front door lock...NOW

I had previously written about a "mallet between the eyes" to get their attention. This is such a moment, but you have to take the action.

Gerald Guterman

Anonymous said...

The mass eviction and impossibly overhauled landscape of the community removing thousands of rent stabilized apartments, the renovation gouging we pay for, the leasing practices that gouge us, the illegal shady business deals (NYU, Verizon, etc) and so on ARE reasons to write the AG. Tell the thousands who were priced out of their homes here that they had it good and were not harassed. Harassment comes in all forms, sir. From the unsophisticated ones you list to the sophisticated back room business deals taking place here in PCVST.

Mr Marsh your criteria for harassment falls short for what we need in a Tenant Association President. While what you list is harassment, it is only a few of the forms harassment takes.

PCVST needs a more sophisticated business savvy Tenant Association Board immediately.

One that operates with transparency and two way communication with Tenants

One that NEVER in any way tells a tenant not to write to an elected official.
It is our constitutional right to write to our elected officials. To dissuade people from contacting their elected officials is a violation of our constitutional rights.

Sir, as you laid out in your comments it is clear this TA has ZERO intention to fight for tenants, for all the excuses you listed.
The tenants on this blog make better points for fighting for this community.

Mr Guterman please mail everyone your proposal and let's get started fighting for this community.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

http://www.longislandevictionslawyer.com/can-landlord-enter-tenants-apartment-without-tenants-permission/

Stuy Town Reporter said...

http://www.nyc.gov/html/fhnyc/downloads/pdf/faqs_about_tenants_rights.pdf

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Changing of locks has been brought up before. If one is around the apartment all day and night, this may not pose a problem. For those who aren't, however, if an emergency situation arises the landlord can (and will) break your lock to gain entry. It has been recommended that people who put in a second lock on their front door give a spare key to a neighbor (who is around all day) or to Public Safety. I haven't checked our leases to see if there's anything specific regarding this topic.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

There have been reported cases recently of ST/PCV workers entering an apartment after just a quick knock on the door, surprising those inside. (One woman was taking a shower when workers entered her apartment.) For those concerned about such a possibility, my recommendation would be to get a second lock, and lock it when you are inside the apartment, which would prevent "surprise" entries.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!
THANK YOU MR GUTERMAN!
AND STR

Anonymous said...

Does it seem to anyone else Dan's legislation actually makes the loophole bigger and gives landlords a law that gives them more legal ways to enter tenant's apartments? How about a law that says as STR's links lay out.

Here is the link again

http://www.longislandevictionslawyer.com/can-landlord-enter-tenants-apartment-without-tenants-permission/

Anonymous said...

"If tenants need anonymity it is because the TA allowed a culture of fear to develop"

And here I thought we were posting anonymously because we didn't want reprisals from CW or to be identified by the more vicious posters here.

"How we became 4000 NYU dorms without a whimper from this TA board is unacceptable."

I know it seems that 4,000 apartments are dorm apartments, but in my PCV building, most of the market-priced apartments are occupied by young families, singles, young couples, and older couples.


Anonymous said...

STR

John Marsh said:

>>The tenant has standing, the TA does not.<<

>>You said: So what's the purpose of the TA?<<

If you read what JM wrote, he laid that out perfectly clearly:

"A good TA educates tenants on how to stand up for themselves and guides them to the tools to do it."

Anonymous said...

STR - I am the person who accused you of being a coward for not posting John Marsh's comment. When I'm wrong, I admit that I'm wrong. So, please accept my sincere apologies.

Anonymous said...

STR and Guterman,

Sure, go ahead and get a second lock and a key and nevermind that the law says that you MUST provide a copy of that second key to the landlord. Just be prepared to pay for damages in the event of an actual emergency when your lock or door are smashed open to gain entry.

Anonymous said...

When politicians & organizations encounter resistance, they often take an 'us vs them' attitude and double down. I'm troubled that John Marsh seems to be doing the same. The TA Board ought to be big enough to see that there is substantial objection to many of the things done over the last 2 years. They ought to hold a large general meeting just to listen and allow residents to air their feelings. I for one will not become a dues paying member again until the TA ends its involvement with Brookfield and backs away from Garodnick idol worship. The old TA used to work with politicians too but never got in bed with them, always cast a somewhat jaundiced eye. The TA has to be much more inclusive on big issues and survey community feelings rather than taking unilateral action.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Guterman,

Does your offer still stand? Do I just print the form and attach my check? Where do I send it? Can I make a donation that will count as additional people? This is too important to let numbers get in the way. PCVST really needs your help. The TA has become a circus led by it's clown master (as is clearly illustrated in the TA response here) and we need real help....NOW!!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, thank you Mr Guterman
You are the only one showing us there are ways for us to protect ourselves, to stand up for ourselves and to fight for our community.


Anonymous said...

We have a hole in our door for a top lock & recently had the top lock installed. However, I've been told that not all apartments have this hole in the door and if that's the case, it's against rules to drill a new hole (the handymen won't do it). So for those who can't install a lock (only costs $100), lodging a complaint with the city may be the only answer. Seems as if somehow the TA ought to be involved.

Anonymous said...

Let's stay focused on standing up for ourselves.
Let's ignore the invitation for duels and debates - it serves no helpful purpose for tenants.

Let's hear more of Mr Guterman's ways we can stand up for ourselves and let's do it.

Whether it is one by one or a big group, let's take back our community.

Anonymous said...


Here is the difference between Boss (as Marsh is acting) and Leader (as Guterman is acting)

Sometimes a boss creates fear whereas a Leader brings confidence.

A boss sometimes points fingers or blames, where a leader tries to fix mistakes.

A boss will come at you with all the answers, but a leader asks questions to find the best way forward.

Bosses can make drudgery while leaders make things interesting.

Bosses are interested in themselves, and Leaders are interested in the group.

There are good bosses but what we need is a good leader. We don't need a boss or a dictator. We need a leader.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Sure, go ahead and get a second lock and a key and nevermind that the law says that you MUST provide a copy of that second key to the landlord.<<

I believe I stated that a key to the second lock should probably be given to Public Safety, just in case. I'd have to dig out my lease to see if there's anything specific about landlord entry.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>STR - I am the person who accused you of being a coward for not posting John Marsh's comment. When I'm wrong, I admit that I'm wrong. So, please accept my sincere apologies.<<

Accepted.

BTW, I ask people to restrain from too heated attacks on others here, including John Marsh.

In the clear light of a new day, upon rereading Marsh's two comments, I might not have let them through because of certain similar heated attacks upon commentators here.

As people should know by now, I try to periodically express my appreciation for the time that people who volunteer put in to help the community. That said, I have found the TA very misguided in being so focused on condo conversion to the detriment of being focused on other matters. And kinda limp when it comes to aggressively fighting the landlord. Whatever the case, we are less and less of a unified community year by year because of the success of the landlord to create division in the community through several means, including accepting a legion of renters who have little interest in STPCV, other than a place to sleep and hang out for a couple of years. In many ways, it is, indeed, "over." So the only thing remaining is to make sure that city regulations are being followed and tenant rights protected. This should be the focus of the TA.

Anonymous said...

STR

Via: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's Tenants Right's Guide:

Tenants in multiple dwellings can install and maintain their own locks on their apartment entrance doors in addition to the lock supplied by the landlord. The lock may be no more than three inches in circumference, and tenants must provide their landlord with a duplicate key upon request. Failure to provide the landlord with a duplicate key if requested can be construed as a violation of a substantial obligation of the tenancy, and can possibly lead to eviction proceedings. Any lease provision requiring a tenant to pay additional rent or other charges for the installation of an additional lock is void as against public policy and unenforceable (Multiple Dwelling Law § 51-c).

Gerald Guterman

Hopefully your for-pay advice is a little bit better than your free advice.

Gerald Guterman said...

To Anonymous, who wrote to STR and Guterman,

"Sure, go ahead and get a second lock and a key and nevermind that the law says that you MUST provide a copy of that second key to the landlord. Just be prepared to pay for damages in the event of an actual emergency when your lock or door are smashed open to gain entry".

August 22, 2014 at 9:50 AM

To Anonymous and everyone else who is afraid of their shadow:

"The law is the law", after a judge says that it is the law.

In the mean time, it will be difficult to blame you for taking a small step to protect your person or property. That's why you file a complaint with the City agency. Then you fill out and sign the simple "form" from the Landlord / Tenant Court.

The Landlord will never just smash in your door for a non-emergency. As a landlord, I am telling you that the liability surrounding such a ruthless action is too much to contemplate.

They will take you to court...in a few months. So what!! If you are unable to attend the hearing, you should get at least one postponement and in my experience....more.

They don't have that right to do anything except take you to Court. If they think that they do, then three, six or nine months later, the L&T judge will still accommodate you first.

Invading your apartment (without your knowledge or permission) for the purpose of upgrading the apartment next door or below, is an actual invasion of your home and privacy. While you pay your rent and your lease is in full force, THIS IS YOUR APARTMENT!! No excuse is necessary to give to the Landlord. Don't waste your time being nice or accommodating. It is not appreciated and not necessary.

Please believe me...YOU ARE NOT A TENANT BY LEASE. YOU ARE A TENANT BY STATUTE. Try to remember!!

If you will all get together and agree to Guterman Partners' representation, I promise, that you will be amazed at the results.

My name and reputation is attached to the Company. If I wasn't sure that we could be a major help to you, I would not make any suggestions.

However, I can't do this without your help. That means about 5,000 of you.

There is another letter (from me) that STR will publish shortly. Attached to that letter will be another copy of the Consulting Agreement.

Please fill out and sign the Agreement. Then send the signed Agreement to me at email; stpcv@gutermanpartners.com

We will advise you separately, about where to send your check.

Gerald Guterman

Anonymous said...

Have had 2 Pcv apartments and both filled with students.

Gerald Guterman said...

To Anonymous:
Via: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's Tenants Right's Guide:

I believe that Mr. Schneiderman is a very smart and decent man. With all due respect to Mr. Schneiderman, I have found out the hard way and said previously..."the law is the law, when a judge says it is the law"

First, the judge, as I mention above, is the The New York State Court Of Appeals,

Second, the upgrade of an apartment, is not an inalienable right granted to the landlord by the Constitution,

Third, you have the right to say NO to entry into your apartment. The landlord has a right to take you to Court to present and try to prove a case and go through all of the requirements.

Sometime in the.... future, a decision may be made by a judge.

Gerald Guterman

Anonymous said...

Marsh and his nasty shills make the TA look even worse, if that's possible. Marsh needs to man up and not be so thin skinned and his all female comment gang need to control their hot flashes and stop bombing STR with ugly comments. This latest exchange makes them all look like lunatics. Seriously, you're now scolding people on paragraph formatting? If only you were this harsh with CW, perhaps we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. Jerk.

Anonymous said...

Mr Guterman knows real estate for sure. But asking for 5000 paying participants is an unlikely way to build a tenant movement. Something like this would mostly likely start out with a small core of very motivated tenants. I think 100 at most might be willing to meet and come out of anonymity. I want to see action as much as anybody but if Mr G sticks with his approach & requirement of 5000, it just doesn't seem likely.

Anonymous said...

Since John Marsh is hard at work on his new blogging best standards and practices guides, (sure to be a NY Times Best Seller), he can add the definition of post.

Post, as in Blog Post, is what STR writes.

Comments are what we write in response to the blog post.

Comments are not posts. Posts are not comments.

Some of you sound like you graduated from the George W. Bush School of 'The' Google.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gutterman - I could be wrong, but I don't think that you will reach 5,000 tenants via this forum. If you want to ensure that you reach a sufficient number of people, you probably should be mailing your proposal to STPCV tenants, too.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Mr. Gutterman - I could be wrong, but I don't think that you will reach 5,000 tenants via this forum. If you want to ensure that you reach a sufficient number of people, you probably should be mailing your proposal to STPCV tenants, too.<<

I agree, though mailing such a proposal to all the tenants could be costly. It would also be good to place an ad in Town & Village, though I don't know what readership numbers that paper has.

Tomorrow I will post a new letter from Mr. Guterman. I'm about to take the rest of the evening off!

Anonymous said...

Remember the "Unity Pledge?" What does it say? I'm considering signing a contract with Guterman. Is there a conflict between the Unity Pledge and the Guterman agreement? Just wondering. I signed the Unity Pledge a few years ago, against my spouse's wishes I might add. I feel that it would be best to terminate my Pledge to the TA before signing an agreement with Guterman. Any feedback, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Not focusing on a conversion would be like a seaside residents ignoring an impending tsunami. The result of the inevitable sale will almost certainly be some sort if coop or condo plan. It's the TAs responsibility to plan realistically. Affordable housing is not a one trick pony, it can be sought in ither ways besides just RS.

Anonymous said...

The idea of owning and living in these Cold War era buildings for the rest of my life? No thanks. There are so many nicer, less hostile, better managed places to live in the city and beyond.

Anonymous said...

7:49 that is an exaggeration but evidence of what you say points to the contrary. It is the focus on the conversion that has brought on a tsunami of evictions and loss of rent stabilized apartments.

Anonymous said...

The guy who sends postcards with the website from 1995 is going to preach internet communication?

What a knee slapper!

Anonymous said...

What does guterman plan mean for thousands of families priced out. No reply. No reply. Nothing. You tenants plus the TA don't give a hoot about us

Anonymous said...

Completely agree. Writing to my elected officials is my constitutional right.
No one should not be persuading tenants not to write to the NY AG or instilling fear that if we do the NY AG might decide to ignore PCVST tenants.
Does the NY AG know there is a person or a group of people trying to stop NY AG Schneiderman's constituents from contacting him with PCVST problems? Doesn't the AG Schneiderman have an election coming up? Maybe we need an AG who wants to hear from his constituents. I think this AG Schneiderman wants to hear from us so let's write him and find out.

Anonymous said...

@6:01 Ping me! lol

Anonymous said...

These public comments written by Marsh are very unprofessional. They remind me of the huffy email Rose sent Lux a few years back that blew up in his face and wound up being news. The message Marsh sends is 'I can be an angry ranter too.' Angry people criticizing other angry people demonstrates weakness, not leadership. The TA could benefit from working with a media professional.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine Al Doyle reprimanding tenants like this? Tenants he's trying to create "unity" with? Me neither. Some President.

Anonymous said...

I am a RS tenant who, for whatever reason, got overlooked when they did the inspections and demanded copies of top lock keys. I'm hoping they never realize they missed me, but as they didn't actually request a copy of my key, I am not going to volunteer it.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Al Doyle!

Anonymous said...

Is this what the TA does with our donations? Sit around all day lurking on blogs?

Anonymous said...

No one knows what the TA does. We think a lot of nothing. Stop sending $ and watch the 'change' in this.