Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Summary of the September 16, 2015 General Tenants Meeting

Starting off with a Soda Social, lots of information about changes in the rent laws and what's going on in the building, and a wonderful talk by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, there was a lot to see, say, and hear!


Rent Stabilized Tenants
  • The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) voted a 0% change in 1-year lease renewals and 2% increase in 2-year lease renewals for rent stabilized tenants whose leases renew any time from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016.
  • The June 2015 rent law reduces the per-room amount of (unfortunately still permanent) future Major Capital Improvement increases by dividing the total by 108 instead of 84.
  • NYC has 3 new laws barring landlords from repeatedly calling tenants offering $$ or threatening them to get them to leave their homes.  If Stellar or its lawyer calls you about this, let us know!
All Tenants
  • The June 2015 rent law codifies the recent Altman court decision that a landlord can’t de-stabilize an apartment unless the previous tenant paid at least the de-stabilization rent (now $2700) or more.  (An occupied apartment can be taken out of rent regulation if the rent is at least $2700 AND the household income is at least $200,000/year for 2 consecutive years.) The owner can still add the 20% vacancy bonus + 1/60th the cost of any improvements to the new rent – but the apartment will remain stabilized unless the residents are proved to earn $200,000/year (gross) or more.  See how it applies in our building. While the case decision may be changed by further court decisions, the statute – for apartments vacated after June 15, 2015 – will likely stand.   If you’ve moved into an apartment after that date, contact us!

Our regular super, Carlos Martinez, will be out for medical reasons for about 6-8 weeks, during which time José, the handyman, will be acting super.  If you need a repair, fill out a requisition slip at the guard’s desk.

Police impersonators with guns and badges entered 50 W. 93 St. knocked on doors and asked a few tenants who lived with them.  The 24th Precinct verified that the men did not come from any NYC agency.  Tenants were scared in part because they didn’t know that tenants may have a roommate and that actual police can and will show ID. 

We’re starting a private Facebook Group (CPG Tenants) for tenants in this building – and working out the kinks for letting Facebook users who live in our building join up. 

Photo by Glenn Richter
MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT  GALE BREWER spoke about the scope of her work, like urban planning and development that accommodates the needs of communities including affordable housing, keeping mom-and-pop stores thriving (instead of the banks that appear on every corner as favored tenants), unions and employment, landmarking, and developers. 
Citing the importance of “contextual zoning” (not just plunking big buildings down anywhere), she noted her opposition to a now-thwarted huge proposed development at the South Street Seaport.  She highlighted the new NYC anti-harassment laws (see above).  

We gave her an award for standing up for tenants through thick and thin over the many years of her public service.  Thanks to Ray and Bonnie von Dohren for producing the award.
THANKS to all the people who set up, brought goodies, and cleaned up after our soda social – among them, Bonnie von Dohren, Steve Koulish, Claude Saucier, Rich Jordan, and Denis Hayward.  Apologies to any missed here.


-The Executive Committee

Na'ava Ades, naavaa   A  T   gmail DOT com
Joan Browne,  joanbrownefaison   at     gmail  dot com
Denis Hayward,  hayden     @sign  nyc dot  rr   com
Rich Jordan,  richJ214   [at]  aol   d o  t   com
Steve Koulish, eskoolman  A     T    yahoo  [dot]  com
Ray VonDohren,  vondohren  [a t] comcast  dot    net