Letters to the Editor, Nov. 12

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Smoke gets in your eyes

The Tenants Association gets frequent queries as to the legitimacy of management’s installing a dual carbon monoxide/smoke detector and charging $50.00. This typically occurs when a tenant requests a replacement battery for an existing smoke alarm or when management makes an apartment inspection. While the TA has questioned other surprise charges, according to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, this charge is permitted.

To quote the RGB’s Frequently Asked Questions: “The NYC Housing Maintenance Code requires landlords to provide and install smoke detecting devices in each apartment unit. All smoke detectors must now use a non-removable, non-replaceable battery that powers the alarm for a minimum of 10 years, and shall be of the type that emits an audible notification at the expiration of the useful life of the alarm. The owner may charge the tenant up to $25 per smoke detector (or $50 for a combined smoke/carbon monoxide detector).

“Landlords are also required to provide and install at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm within each dwelling unit. The landlord may charge the tenant $25 per carbon monoxide alarm (or $50 for a combined smoke/carbon monoxide detector).”

Other questions the TA gets are: Why install a joint detector if tenants have a functioning smoke detector? That way, the tenant would only need to pay $25.00. Furthermore, why can’t tenants buy their own combo detector? In fact, why do we need a carbon monoxide detector?

New York City requires the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Both property owners and tenants have responsibilities to ensure that all New Yorkers remain safe in their homes from the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Landlords are required to ensure that tenants are provided with both carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors (SD) that comply with the physical requirements of the Building Code.

New York City rules require that where a smoke alarm was installed prior to April 2014 and the useful life of the alarm is not known, “that it be replaced with the newly required model within seven years of the effective date and that the owner is responsible for providing and installing the detector.” The landlord also has to make sure that the device complies with applicable guidelines and has to keep records of installation. Filing is required when devices are changed according to the requirement timeframes or whenever broken/missing devices are replaced.

The occupant has one year from the date of the installation to make the reimbursement (bet you didn’t know that).

The Tenants Association is still looking to see if an exemption for STPCV is possible because our complex uses steam heat, which does not have a carbon monoxide risk. However, our research is still ongoing. In the meantime, please know that the installation of dual carbon monoxide and smoke detectors is legitimate and the $50 fee is an unfortunate, but legal burden.

It is always better to err on the side of safety for our valuable community.

Susan Steinberg
President, STPCV Tenants Association


Global warming and the value of ST/PCV

We all know about Met Life having sold the two properties for $5.4B and after a default, just recently a new owner paid $5.3B. And we all remember Sandy and since then both the North and South Poles have continued to melt with far greater speed than originally predicted. The melted water raises the levels of the oceans.

So, since as all the areas of T&V are adjacent to the East River, more “Sandys” could easily occur.

Of course there are moral implications. But money talks the loudest. Should another superstorm occur, the values of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village could become zero. So, from a purely investment point of view, these new faux upscale properties would become a swamp and have no value.

Already, insurance companies are raising the premiums of flood policies or just not offering them for some properties adjacent to both the East and West Coasts.

Aside from the many tragedies that global warming can cause… the market tells the truth.

David Chowes, PCV


Sweet deal… just not for taxpayers

Looks like it cost us taxpayers approximately $50,000 per “affordable” apartment if you calculate the faux 144 million “loan” plus the 75 million in lost tax. Don’t you think the city could have taken the $250,000,000 and built a building that would have last longer than 20 years? Instead the mayor and the electeds thought it was better to give our money to a Canadian “pension” fund.

Name withheld, ST

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9 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, Nov. 12

    • First I’m hearing about this. Any comment from the TA or any of our “electeds” who are supposed to represent us? It sounds a bit far-fetched.

    • Update: I emailed Councilman Garodnick’s office and he replied that there is no truth to this rumor. That’s a big relief. I’ll believe him before I’ll believe the Real Deal in the future. Sometimes (often) reporters print garbage.

  1. Re: My comment on global warming

    See the coming Sunday’s NYT Magazine article: “The secrets of polar icecaps. “. (It may be far too late for anything to be done for remediation.)

  2. David Chowes, I think you are on the wrong thread. I was referring to the possibility of tenants being moved out of their apartments for renovations. I emailed Dan Garodnick about that. I never implied that any calls came from management! I think you need to read more carefully before you make one of your many, many pronouncements, though I realize that this one was well-intentioned.

  3. IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL

    Assemblyman congratulates many politicians for saving 5K PCV/ST units for staying rent stabilized for 20 years … but, we have lost another equal number to market rate. Is this an accomplishment?

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