Thursday, January 10, 2013

January 2013 Newsletter

Happy New Year, everyone!  Since we had a special election tenants meeting in December, we’re just providing an update this month.

Rent bills came on Dec. 31st last month – too late for most people to pay by the first of the month. 
If you’ve paid by the 10th of the month, there should be no late fee.

Market-rate tenants: Check your lease about whether late fees are allowed.
Rent stabilized tenants: Late fees are not allowed because we didn’t have them under Mitchell-Lama.  If you’re charged a late fee, don’t pay it and let the executive committee know.  

To pay by the 1st of the month, add your base rent + your electric bill (plus your garage rent if you’ve got a space there) and walk the check or checks over to Stellar’s office at 70 W. 93rd St.  or mail the envelope to the Stellar office at 158 William St.,  10th Fl., New York, NY 10038.

If you find yourself repeatedly paying on or after the 15th of the month – and Stellar has taken you to court for nonpayment – please contact a member of the Executive Committee. 

In his Jan. 9, 2013 State of the State address, the governor proposed building or preserving 14,000 units of affordable housing – in the face of the 365,000 shortage NYC faces. 

Meanwhile, he’s accepted that the State Senate will be led by the GOP and a breakaway “Independent Democratic Conference” alternating leadership each week. Since both the GOP and the IDC members have been cool to tenant issues, this legislative session will be a long slog for tenants.  Fortunately, the rent laws don’t expire until June 2015 – by which time we will be a stronger force!

If you see one in your apartment – on the bed or wall or elsewhere, call Stellar immediately, and write your name on a requisition slip for the exterminator. If you deal with it right away, it’s not fun but not a big deal.  If you wait, they spread.
They breed in clean homes and dirty ones, the Waldorf Astoria and local movie theaters. So don’t be ashamed: just act.  Stellar will exterminate for free.

Stellar is measuring one apartment in each line. – mainly on the 5th and 12th floors.  It says  its bank wants accurate statements of the area of each apartment.  We don’t know what Stellar’s bank dealings are. If you can’t be home when they come in to measure your apartment, leave a note: “I am happy for you to measure my apartment, but I need more than 24 hours’ notice since I work.”

NOISE Are you hearing loud, grinding, intermittent noises that may be coming from the elevator? Let the executive committee know.  K-line residents seem particularly vulnerable.

EMERGENCY NUMBER & KEYPlease leave a key and an emergency number for the building staff to call.  You can leave the key with the building staff or with a neighbor.  Just make sure that the building staff know which neighbor. Sometimes tenants have needed help – and can’t open their own doors.   Carlos has emergency number cards in his office.

SMOKING in stairwells sends unwelcome smoke into all the apartments that abut the stairwell.  That goes for cigarettes and for marijuana - and the people in those apartments really don't want to inhale it.  So please don't smoke there.

Jan. 28 – The Park West Village History Group is hosting a panel discussion on the history of Frederick Douglass houses and other public housing in our neighborhood.  6-8 PM, Children’s Aid Society, 885 Columbus at 104th St.

The Executive Committee
Sue Susman, Na’ava Ades, Joan Browne, Rich Jordan, Steve Koulish, Greg Murray