Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31

Pols to CW: Don’t raise rents mid-lease

The following is an open letter to Andrew MacArthur, vice-president, CWCapital Asset Management.

Dear Mr. MacArthur:

We write to you today in reference to the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case settlement. It is our understanding that under the terms of the settlement, if approved, CWCapital may claim they have the right to impose rent increases on certain tenants in the middle of their lease term.

We are deeply skeptical of the legality of such a right, if exercised, and urge you not to try to take advantage of it.

Please know that we are aware of many representations – some oral, some documented – made by leasing agents who promised residents that they should not worry about mid-lease increases because the landlord would not choose to impose such an increase.

Legal fine-print should not be used to impose significant rent increases on unsuspecting tenants in the middle of their leases. Regardless of the terms of the written leases, representations were broadly being made to residents to induce them into signing their leases, and those commitments should be honored.

Raising rents mid lease-term would create enormous instability in the community that has had far too much instability already. Residents have an expectation that their lease is their lease and will not be changed until its term is up. Any aberration creates upheaval and uncertainty, and has the potential to create sudden vacancies, rapid turnover, and all of the negative implications on quality of life that such quick changes tend to have.

Indeed, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper have long been known in New York City as a place for people to develop roots over the long term, and we certainly hope you will not depart from that.

Accordingly, we ask that you commit now, in advance of the Roberts settlement being finalized, to not raising the rent of any unit mid-lease term. This will go a long way to calm residents’ nerves and to assure their elected representatives that CW Capital is considering the human impact of its decisions.

The tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have had to deal with a great deal of turmoil since the property was sold by MetLife to Tishman Speyer and the bondholders you represent. Now, as the Roberts case appears to be coming to a close, they deserve to have some peace of mind about what the future will hold.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Council Member
Daniel R. Garodnick
Senator Charles
E. Schumer
Congresswoman
Carolyn B. Maloney
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
New York Public
Advocate Bill de Blasio
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer
State Senator
Brad Hoylman
Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh

Continue reading