A new post on the TA website:
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....
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