By Sabina Mollot
Following a spate of residents being faced with primary residence challenges while some others have recently been denied succession, local elected officials and the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association have announced they would be hosting a legal clinic on both issues.
The event will take place on Wednesday, August 19 from 6-7:30 p.m. at MS 104 at 330 East 21st Street and will be co-hosted by Council Member Dan Garodnick, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh. Attorneys from the Urban Justice Center will also be present.
As Town & Village reported in late July, the Tenants Association had noticed an uptick in Golub notices or notices of nonrenewal being issued due to primary residence challenges. As of July 30, TA President Susan Steinberg said she knew of seven new Golubs being issued.
However, she noted, this was nowhere near as many as had been sent out at one time during the Tishman Speyer era of Stuyvesant Town. The former owner eventually managed to serve over 1,000 tenants with Golub notices.
This week, Garodnick told T&V he didn’t know how many had been sent out more recently by CWCapital — but agreed that the situation “in no way resembles what we saw in the years immediately following the sale.”
Still, he added, “There are enough to have gotten my attention and that’s why we are holding the clinic. The Golub notices are very formal and scary notices that say you are not using your rent stabilized apartment as your primary residence and put you on notice that they are not going to renew your lease.”
On the other issue to be addressed, denial of succession, Garodnick said there isn’t usually a formal notice for this, but some tenants have recently applied for it and have been denied. He didn’t know the exact number of denials but said there are “more than a few.”
At the clinic, tenants will learn about succession rights and Golub notices, and how best to protect themselves. Additionally, event organizers will also be taking questions about succession rights. A presentation on succession and primary residence challenges will be followed by a question/answer period.
Those with individual questions are asked to bring relevant paperwork and schedule a one-on-one appointment with an attorney at the event by RSVPing in advance to Howie Levine at Garodnick’s office at (212) 818-0580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steinberg called the upcoming clinic a “boon for tenants” who may not know much about the legal issues surrounding primary residence challenges or succession.
“While tenants with specific cases will still need to hire an attorney, being able to have a ‘one-on-one’ with lawyers from the Urban Justice Center will provide solid information about what to expect and what they need for their attorneys to address,” she said.
Brian Moriarty, a spokesperson for CWCapital, wouldn’t comment on the number of Golub notices issued or succession denials. However, he said the owner thought the legal clinic was a good idea.
“We believe this is a positive development. We encourage our residents to be informed and to fully understand their rights and responsibilities under Rent Stabilization,” he said.
Moriarty also responded to T&V’s July 30 story on the notices of nonrenewal, to say that each challenge was “carefully reviewed” before being issued.
“All Golub notices are carefully reviewed before being sent to ensure we only send notices when a unit is being used improperly,” he said in an official statement. “We make every effort to follow the spirit of the law as well as its letter and, accordingly, will consider any exceptional life circumstances that may be relevant to the specific situation. Residents who receive a notice are encouraged to respond directly to PCVST’s legal department to discuss the facts.”