Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April rent bills

Rent Stabilized tenants: Your rent bill for April should include
  • the permanent MCI increase for your apartment based on the number of bedrooms:
    • 1 bedroom = $23.01  (retroactive amount for 10 months is $230.10)
    • 2 bedrooms = $30.68 (retroactive amount for 10 months is $306.80)
    • 3 bedrooms = $38.35 (retroactive amount for 10 months is $383.50).

    • the full retroactive amount (if you arranged for it with Stellar in advance of this month's rent bill)    or  
    • an installment payment toward the retroactive amount.    If you're paying the retroactive amount in installments, your TOTAL BILL INCREASE for the MCI will be 6% of whatever your lease said your rent was for April 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Summary of the General Tenants Meeting - March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011


Elevators: If the elevators break down, keep a log.  If any elevator is out of service for over a day (or has any other serious problem), call 311, get a reference number, and give the number to a member of the Executive Committee.   And that includes the west side elevators getting stuck on the 2nd floor! Please request elevator and all other repairs in the requisition book at the guard’s desk in the lobby.

Real Rent Reform Campaign:  The R3 campaign wants 3 things: 
  •  renewal of the rent laws that expire on June 15, 2011
  •  the repeal of vacancy destabilization – which will put back into stabilization all the market-rate apartments in this building androll back their rents to what they were in January 2007; and
  •  making rent stabilized all buildings out of Mitchell-Lama or Project-based Section 8, regardless of when they leave or left and when they were built, and without “unique or peculiar circumstances” increases. 
But none of this will happen unless lots of tenants 
call Governor Cuomo at 212-681-4580 and ask him to support these 3 demands, or 
send him a letter, post-card, fax (518-474-1513), or email

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Executive Chamber
Albany, New York 12224

Check out the Calendar for activities to persuade Governor Cuomo to act in the interests of New York tenants.

Finances: Treasurer Joan Browne reported that our Valentine’s Day fundraiser was a great success – and THANKS to all those who have contributed $10 in dues ($25 for newly-joining households) and $100 for our legal fund.   If you’d like to contribute, please contact Joan (see below) or your floor captain.

Pot LuckWe had one last Spring, and it was fun, delicious, and a good way to meet neighbors.  It was great to be out in the backyard.  Join the Pot Luck Planners (Maxine Soares, Debbie Gonzalez and Lydia Pitsirilos) to help plan this one for SATURDAY, JUNE 4th in the Community Room and backyard.


Major Capital Improvement:
This will not affect SCRIE or DRIE tenants if they submit an “Adjustment of Abatement” form to SCRIE or DRIE.  (Contact your floor captain for the form, or click on SCRIE form or DRIE form to get and download it.)

For all other rent stabilized tenants:

The order is for an increase based on the number of bedrooms you have:
1 bedroom, permanent increase = $23.01.
2 bedrooms, permanent increase = $30.68.
3 bedrooms, permanent increase = $38.35.

In addition, since the MCI order was effective as of June 1, 2010 – and it has been 10 months from then to April 1, 2011 when Stellar is actually starting to charge the MCI addition,  we owe 10 months’ worth of RETROACTIVE amount. 

1 bedroom: 10 X $23.01 = $230.10.
2 bedrooms: 10 X $30.68 = $306.80.
3 bedrooms: 10 X 38.35 = $383.50.

That retroactive amount will be added in installments to your rent bill.  For easier bookkeeping, you may be able to pay the retroactive amount at once (rather than installments) if you contact the secretary of Francine Schiff at Stellar Management, 212-406-0030 and ask if Stellar can add it to your next rent bill.

Get a sense of what your increase will be each month if you pay the retroactive amount in installments by multiplying your rent by 1.06.  Note that those figures do NOT include any lease renewal increases.  Those will be on top of the Major Capital Installment permanent increase.

“Unique or Peculiar” case:  The state’s housing agency (DHCR is now called HCR) denied the application that Stellar had filed in 2005 for “unique or peculiar” increases to our initial rent stabilized rent.  However, Stellar may appeal, and in the meantime, the court case goes on:  Owners challenged DHCR’s regulation that says that just leaving Mitchell-Lama is NOT a “unique or peculiar” circumstance justifying a rent increase.  DHCR and tenants prevailed in the first state court (State Supreme Court), and in the mid-level Appellate Division (unanimously!).  Now the one owner left in the case is seeking permission to appeal to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

FOR ALL TENANTS: Got questions or suggestions? Let us know!

The Executive Committee

Sue Susman
Na’ava Ades
Joan Browne
Rich Jordan
Steve Koulish
Greg Murray

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rent Law Battle Heating Up

How you can help:

  1. Call Governor Cuomo at 212-681-4580 and ask him to support the renewal and strengthening of the rent laws in the budget,specifically the repeal of vacancy destabilization. 
  2. Send a letter or postcard to Gov. Cuomo  (look below on this website, or contact your floor captain for a sample).
  3. March at 4:30 PM on Monday, March 21st starting from 42nd St. & Park (near Grand Central). Contact Steve Koulish for more details. 
  4. Hand out flyers at Grand Central Station and elsewhere! 
  5. Come to Albany! R3 is arranging daily mobilizations. Contact or Steve Koulish in this building if you are interested in going up on:
  • Tuesday, March 22nd with Tenants & Neighbors
  • Tuesday, March 29th with Goddard-Riverside Community Center and other groups.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Coming Wednesday: General Tenants Meeting!

    Come to our 


    this Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    8 PM in the Community Room 

    • Report from the Real Rent Reform Campaign and how you can take action to support 
      • renewing the rent stabilization law before it expires in 3 months (on June 15, 2011);
      • putting into rent stabilization all the market-rate apartments in our building and rolling the rents back to what they were in January 2007 - by repealing vacancy decontrol
      • ending "unique or peculiar" increases permanently. 
    • Major Capital Improvement
      • how to calculate it (bring a slip of paper with your actual rent amount  - not including electricity - or click on: CALCULATE - not including lease renewal increases.
      • can you pay off the retroactive amount all at once? YES: Contact Stellar Management (ask for Francine Schiff's secretary): 212-406-0030.  Ask her to include the full retroactive amount in your APRIL rent bill.
    •  "Unique or Peculiar" case (we keep winning), and what to expect
    •  Elevators and more building issues.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    SCRIE & DRIE Tenants & the MCI

    Tenants on SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption) and DRIE (Disabled Rent Increase Exemption) will NOT pay the Major Capital Improvement (MCI) increase every month.  BUT

    (1) You must pay (just once) the increased security resulting from the MCI's increase for your apartment.  
    1 bedroom apartment: $23.01
    2 bedroom apartment: $30.68
    3 bedroom apartment: $38.35.

    (2) You must notify DRIE or SCRIE using a form called "Adjustment of Abatement" about the MCI so that the government can pay Stellar the increase.  

    SCRIE tenants can find the form at .
    You will need to fill in your SCRIE Docket Number.

    DRIE tenants can find the form at
    You will need to fill in your DRIE Case Number.

    • Fill in the form, including your Docket or Case Number.  Check "Major Capital Improvement" in the Section II.  Sign and date the form in Section 8.
    • Attach a copy of the DHCR order granting the MCI to the form.
    • Send them together to the address on the form:

    NYC Department of Finance
    Attn: SCRIE (or if you're on DRIE, write, "Attn. DRIE")
    59 Maiden Lane, 22nd Floor
    New York, NY 10038.

    If you do not have a copy of the DHCR order granting the MCI, please contact Sue