Letters to the Editor, Feb. 5

Feb5 Toon coyote gray

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

If landlords’ costs are inflated, roll back the rents

Re: Bill would change how RGB calculates landlords’ costs,” T&V, Jan. 29

To the Editor:

Okay, let’s see if I got this right. Since the 1990s the Giuliani/Bloomberg/de Blasio administration’s hand-picked, nine-member Rent Guidelines Boards have voted 5-4 in favor of rent increases every year. Now in 2015 we learn that the method used to determine and calculate these rent increases, “the Price Index of Operations Costs (PIOC), does not accurately reflect the costs and revenues accrued by landlords, causing unfair increases for tenants” and “overestimates landlord’s expenses by as much as one third and doesn’t measure income” at all.

Does this mean that for over 20 years the mayor-appointed RGBs gave unfair annual rent increases to landlords based on overestimating their expenses by 33 percent and not including their income into the calculation at all? If so, the only honest thing for the city to do would be to roll back those unfair rent increases for the past 20 years. But “Honesty is the best policy” is not the policy of New York politicians so another way to correct this injustice is needed.

I’m not surprised that it took over 20 years for one lone City Council member out of hundreds to uncover this devious trickery, make it public and introduce a bill that “would change how RGB calculates landlords’ costs.” What were the other hundred Council members doing for the past 20 years? Perhaps writing “Thank You!” notes to their constituents in the real estate industry for campaign contributions? Certainly not working to make the dream of affordable housing for rent-stabilized tenants a reality.

T&V reports that one RGB member cheering “What do we want? Rent freeze!” has “urged the mayor to pass the legislation because of the need for accurate data for rent stabilized tenants.” I say NO! We don’t need no stinkin’ band aids! What we need is major surgery. Since tenants have been paying more rent than legally required for over 20 years due to the city RGB’s devious, landlord-friendly methods of calculation, don’t you think tenants deserve something to make up for over 20 years of injustice?

I suggest that the mayor appoint an RGB that will be as friendly to tenants as it has been to landlords, one that will vote 5-4 for a rent freeze every year. That’s the only just thing to do, since I doubt the city is going to roll back those increases. Anything less would make this news just another joke about the various ways that New York politicians pay back their campaign contributors.

“Please don’t be offended if I preach to you awhile/Tears are out of place in eyes that were meant to smile.” Now join me in singing, “Look for the Sheldon Silver lining!”

John Cappelletti, ST

Whatever happened to the carpet rule?

It is wonderful that the renovated apartments have such lovely floors, but the photos in the windows of the renting offices are so appealing that new tenants are moving in without getting carpets.

When I first came here, we were given postcards to send to the office attesting to the fact that 80 percent of our floors were covered.  If I am not mistaken, inspections were also done.

Whether tenants live under you, above you or adjacent to you, noise from rooms without rugs carries. If the tenants are wearing heavy shoes or high heels, it is worse, but even with shoes off, running through the apartments when the floors are bare is very noisy. This can go on the entire day and evening.

What I fail to understand is why the renting offices do not stress the carpet rule when people move in. It should be an important point raised immediately.

I am now living above new tenants with no rugs and a toddler who runs all day and drops his toys all over the floor. I can no longer enjoy a peaceful day or evening in my apartment. Calling security is useless and I don’t know what to do. There is also the issue of slamming the metal doors at all hours. Without carpets to absorb and mute the sound, this becomes intolerable as well.

What can be done about this? I assume the new tenants have signed a one-year lease. I don’t think I can live with this for a whole year.

Name withheld, ST

Coyote chaos

Re: “Coyote visits Stuy Town as urban sightings are on the rise,” T&V, Jan. 29

It is alarming to read that a coyote was caught in Stuyvesant Town. These are dangerous hungry animals who are overpopulating our parks and wandering into our towns and even cities thanks to the environmental conservation law. We are lucky that the coyote in Stuy Town as caught before he ate someone’s pet or worse someone’s child. We may not be so lucky next time.

Gamaliel Isaac, ST

2 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, Feb. 5

  1. Mr. Cappelletti, I have offered many replies to both T&V letters to the editor and blog posts. If I remember correctly, I have made some critical comments about posts — but I could be wrong. Your present entry is (as was said in the late 1960’s), this entry is right on! I call the as I see them. Congratulations.

  2. Mr. Isaac, there is no animal (wild or domesticated) that we New Yorkers have to fear more than the hungry, avaricious and greed-fueled monster known as the REBNY and the politicians that it purchases. I would rather a pack of hungry wolves and alligators at my door than one of these two-legged, ruthless predators.

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