Letters to the Editor, May 23

Rent hikes will destroy community

To the editor,

Raising rents by thousands of dollars a year (some increases were as high as 35 percent) is beyond cruel. Hundreds of tenants will be unable to pay and unable to stay. Where’s our mayor?

This kind of price gouging is what happened in New York City in the early 70s. In one fell swoop, CW has turned the clock back to a dark era, when tenants faced greedy landlords and a housing crisis so bad, it ended only with the passage of the NYS Emergency Tenant Protection Act in 1974.  Where’s our mayor?

CW Capital is destroying a community that has stood as an icon of middle class stability since its inception in 1947. Hundreds of tenants will be scrambling this summer to find suitable housing in a city with a very low vacancy rate, dislocating their children from their schools and friends. Where’s our mayor?

This heartless act on the part of CW is without precedence – but that is a distinction no company with any sense of decency would wish. Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village is a community, not a commodity. Its residents deserve to be treated with respect, not as garbage to be thrown out.

Is there a mayor out there? Where was he when our other elected representatives stood with us? Is he only the mayor of developers and the one percent, not everyday citizens? The silence is deafening.

Susan Steinberg, ST

The author is the chair of the ST-PCV Tenants Association.

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Tenants Association wary of apartment inspections

By Sabina Mollot

Since last week, the ST-PCV Tenants Association said it has been getting complaints from tenants regarding a new round of apartment inspections being conducted by CWCapital. Residents have been told in some cases their units are being inspected for pressurized walls.

According to TA President John Marsh, in at least two cases there have been complaints from tenants that inspections were conducted while they weren’t home at times that were not the agreed upon scheduled date and time.

“They came in between (the original date and the rescheduled date),” said Marsh. “They

Tenants Association President John Marsh and residents Sandra Lynn and John Giannone outside the leasing office last Saturday Photo by Sabina Mollot

Tenants Association President John Marsh and residents Sandra Lynn and John Giannone outside the leasing office last Saturday
Photo by Sabina Mollot

just popped in.” This has been of concern to the TA, considering the four burglaries in the complex that didn’t involve forced entry and were at buildings undergoing intercom repairs.

“We’ve been advising tenants to make sure someone can be with them,” said Kirstin Adaahl, a Tenants Association board member.

In response to the concerns, Brian Moriarty, a spokesperson for CWCapital, said all apartments in the complex would be inspected in the upcoming months.

“The inspections are to ensure compliance with the building code, lease terms and community rules,” he said. “Inspectors will be looking for issues such as unsafe conditions, unregistered dogs and compliance with the 80 percent carpet rule. Any unit that is out of compliance will be given a notice to correct whatever issues are found.”

There was no comment on the allegations of unauthorized entry.

Recently, the TA put a notice about the apartment inspections and what residents’ obligations and rights are on its website (stpcvta.org). The notice reads, in part:

The TA has consulted with its counsel and, while every situation is unique and may require individual legal counsel, in summary… (this) is what we were advised:

Necessary repairs, improvements required by law, and inspections are lawful and you must comply.

Landlords must give you proper notice and you have the right to be present in non-emergency cases.

A failure to provide access as demanded does not result in immediate eviction; you have many opportunities to cure.

Unlawful alterations to the apartment, fire safety issues, and hoarding could put you at risk for eviction, but you have multiple opportunities to cure these conditions.