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Sunday, July 26, 2015
Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Tenants -- You are on Your Own!
The recent court win by ST tenant Caryn Chow highlights how little of value is our Tenants Association and how if you want to get anything done in this complex proactively, you are, basically, on your own.
You can, and should, read about Chow's legal fight with CWCapital/CompassRock at the Town & Village blog.
In summary, Chow won a rent abatement of 30% for the daily, mammothly disruptive noise being inflicted on her due to the construction of the new management office, at back of 1st Ave. (Noise wasn't the only issue: her walls would shake and debris from outside would find its way into her apartment.) After unsuccessfully trying to come to a solution with management, Chow, who works from home, withheld rent payment, got an eviction notice, and was finally taken to court.
Chow's rent-strike demanded amazing courage and fortitude. She was the only tenant in the affected area to pursue a more rigorous and impacting response to the nightmare that was the construction of that management office. Everyone else accepted a $200 gift card from management.
Of note, both the TA and our councilman Dan Garodnick, were nowhere to be found in this matter (and were accepting of the construction), just as they are nowhere to be found in investigating whether CWCapital/CompassRock is strictly following DOB rules concerning room requirements, the addition of a room, via partitions, to an apartment, and filings that indicate "no change in occupancy." Separate from this management construction, Garodnick was even going to champion in the City Council extending tenant rights regarding construction noise, but if you hear anything about that now, let me know.
The Chow situation makes me angry, just as it should any long-term tenant here. CWCapital/Compass Rock feels free to abuse tenants by disregarding humane procedures whenever it suits them, legally acceptable or not. The TA and Garodnick are just about useless. And a tenant should never have to face the possibility of being kicked out of her home for standing up against uninhabitable living conditions. My one regret in this case is that Chow didn't get a greater rent abatement.
As usual when it faces legal punishment, CWCapital had "no comment" on the matter to Town & Village.