CW makes early lease offer, but TA advises caution

By Sabina Mollot

Last fall, the Tenants Association urged caution when CWCapital offered a deal to residents who’d accept a reduction in their MCI charges in exchange for agreeing not to challenge the recently imposed rent increases.

Now, the TA is again warning tenants to think twice before agreeing to another deal offered by the special servicer.

This time, it’s saying yes to an early lease renewal, in exchange for CW’s promise not to raise rents for a period of either 12 or 24 months. However, there’s a catch, warned the TA in an email to neighbors on Monday.

“Management will not show tenants the leases they will be signing, and are giving them little time — from 48 hours to seven days — in which to decide,” the TA said.

So far, the association has heard from about 20 residents with regards to the offer, which was sent to more recent residents paying higher rents. Some are “Roberts” tenants and some aren’t.

“I am not aware of any long-term stabilized tenants who have received such offers,” said Susan Steinberg, chair of the Tenants Association. However, since the association wasn’t aware of exactly how many people had been contacted, she wasn’t sure exactly who’s been targeted.

One thing that was constant was that the residents’ leases would be up for renewal in the fall, but the goal was to get the recipients to sign a new lease this spring.

“In what they claim is a marketing-driven effort, CWCapital/Compass Rock is attempting to match lease expirations with rental patterns in New York City — apartments are most in demand March through September — and is seeking to align fall lease starts in spring,” the TA wrote.

“However, through occupant turnover, the schedule of when leases start drifts into the slower months. If an owner of rent-regulated apartments wants to ‘correct’ the lag, the only recourse under Rent Stabilization Law is to offer to cancel a lease early and renew it at the same rate.”

The TA’s concern is that residents who accept the offer will have to first cancel their current lease before getting the new one and could possibly lose rights currently offered under the Rent Stabilization code. This is something “no sensible tenant feels comfortable” doing, the TA wrote.

In response to the concerns, Brian Moriarty, a spokesperson for CW, said the offer is voluntary and has already proven to be popular among tenants.

“Our residents are accepting this offer in significant numbers,” said Moriarty, though he didn’t have exact figures available.

He added, “We don’t understand why the TA is intent on creating an issue with this purely voluntary promotion which benefits tenants. Despite the TA’s claim, they haven’t contacted CWCapital to discuss their concern. If they had, they would know that we started providing letters outlining the offer as well as a link to the lease form to address any concerns.”

Meanwhile, a few residents contacted with the offer have said their deals included a one-time rent credit of $500. However, when discussing the issue on Facebook, it seemed some new lease offers involved a temporary rent freeze while others’ rents would still be raised, though they also got the $500 credit offer.

This comes on the heels of a handful of tenants reporting that they’d gotten credits for their MCIs. One woman said it was done as “a result of the negotiations” between the TA and CWCapital. Those conversations are still ongoing and there have been no announcements or comments from either party.

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16 thoughts on “CW makes early lease offer, but TA advises caution

  1. So they’re offering a $500 credit for either 12 or 24 months, which works out to either $40 or $20 a month, and then when your lease is up, they have no qualms about raising the rent $500 a month or more. Somehow, that math doesn’t seem to add up.

  2. When MetLife evolved from a mutual company to a for profit corporation, they promised that nothing would change; they then went “luxury.” They then sold it to Speyer-Tishman… Again, nothing would change. All the subsequent companies have all assured us that nothing would change. And, so on…

    And, now, CW/Capital has made an “benevolent offer” to keep rents more stable. OK! Fine!

    But, as President Ronald Reagan said: “Trust but, verify.”

    Get it, folks?

    • That’s not very nice! I think the TA is very trustworthy! No reason to think otherwise. As for CW, well ….

      • Where you been lately? There is virtually no difference between the TA’s board and CW’s management team. Both go behind tenants backs to further their own agenda. Throw Garodnick and all the other no good politicians and lawyers trying to make a fortune off this place in the mix too. No offense to the TA’s volunteers who mean well, they are just being misled by a rogue board guided by Garodnick and his lawyer “friends”. Remember that a very small percentage of households are TA dues paying members. Wonder why that is?

  3. Where have I been lately? Obviously, not where you’ve been. I’ve never seen the TA in the way you describe. Whether the strong allegations in your angry post are fact or fiction, I have no way of knowing. I hope you are wrong, but I guess time will tell.

    • Ignore the troll, he posts on the STR blog all the time. One can have serious disagreements with the TA, their focus, their agenda, etc. and if so, try to change it but his “moral equivalence” of the TA and CWC/CR is a joke.

      • Agreed. I think the TA does the best it can for the tenants, and I am assuming that the board members of the TA are tenants themselves.

      • I’d say you’re the troll to be ignored. I couldn’t agree more with this post. Perhaps you’re not a troll, perhaps you’re a board member.

  4. I can’t think of anything CW has done to help tenants. We’ve had minimal maintenance and outright destruction of grounds. Why would anyone believe that they’re acting in tenants’ interests with this lease renewal business? They’re up to something sneaky. Problem is, we won’t know what it is until it’s too late. Maybe they’re just sowing dissension among tenants–doesn’t cost them anything. Maybe they’re doing something more nefarious. Beware anything coming from CW that seems too good to be true or even just OK.

  5. Is this offer legit? I received a call from a broker from Compass Rock notifying me I could extend my lease 12-24 mo’s w NO increase in rent for that time. Only catch is I’d have to adjust the termination to align with the busy summer months. This to me is a no brainer, I get to extend my lease 9 or 22 mo’s essentially with no increase. I received a termination document and was told I needed to sign before even coming in. This seemed WAY fishy so I asked for a letter stating what was going on and was provided but I’m not sure how valid or legal it would be. Anyone else follow through on the process start to finish?

  6. I just sent to the PCV/ST TA a renewal for the next year. Now the collusion of the TA, CW/Capital and Garodnick is revealed. Frankly, I don’t know what to do?

    These allegations should be documented. The charged made by many are quite disturbing!

    • I don’t follow your drift. Are you saying that YOU “just sent to the PCVST TA a renewal….” or are you quoting someone else? Could you clarify, please.

      • I just mailed off my $35 renewal fee for membership om the TA. And, that’s that! But, reading the comments which allege that CW, the TA and Garodnick have become an unholy trinity and not working in the interests of the tenants bothers me. DOCUMENTATION, PLEASE!

    • Yea, David, did you sign the termination agreement and have set up your NEW lease renewal signing? I’m just trying to get a leg-up on what to expect and appreciate any feedback in your process.

      Thanks.

  7. Just in case anyone needs to fill out a Lease Agreement form, I found a blank templates from this site PDFfiller. This site also has some tutorials on how to fill it out and a few related Real Estate forms that you might find useful. Here is a link to Residential Lease Agreement form that I was able to use http://goo.gl/NyxTio.

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