Letters to the Editor, June 2

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Neighbors can speak up about M23

In the May 19 issue of Town & Village (letter writers), Catha Grace Rambusch echoed my deep concern that the NYC Department of Transportation is considering the elimination of the M23 mid-block bus stop between Avenue C and First Avenue on its return west to 23rd Street. From Avenue C to the M 23 bus stop in question, the actual length covers the equivalent of Avenues B and A from Avenue C’s rest stop for the M23.

Having joined the ranks of senior citizens, while I’m still active in community affairs at Solar 1, the United Nations, and other environmental and civic groups, I depend on the mid-block bus stop opposite our apartment to get me around with a cane while awaiting knee surgery.

While I wait for the M23 there, I am joined by other seniors plus little children and their parents from both Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. We know we can count on a seat before the long line of folks comes on board at East 23rd Street and First Avenue for the return trip to the West Side.

A second issue is whether it is envisioned that the Select bus would skip certain stops along 23rd Street and, if so, would there also be a local M23 like there is for the M15 route on First Avenue?

The Transportation Committee of Community Board 6 will be meeting at Monday, June 6, 7 p.m. at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, 317 East 17th Street in the Loeb Auditorium. I plan to be there. It is open to the community as is the full Board meeting on Wednesday, June 8 at NYU Hospital.

I went to Google, typed in Community Board 6 Manhattan and found the timing for the next steps below. If you would like to speak at the June 8 full board meeting, come early to sign in to speak for up to three minutes after the political leaders speak in advance of the full board session.

Next steps:

April: Present draft plan to Community Board Four – Continue community outreach
April-June: Refine plan based on feedback
June: Present final plan to Community Boards Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 7 p.m., NYU Langone Medical Center, 550 1st Ave, NY, NY 10016 Alumni Hall A
July-September: Project implementation
2017-beyond: Evaluate SBS performance, Study more robust options if supported by community, Continue community outreach.

As a former member of Community Board 6, I can say that the CB6 Board works extremely hard for us and I want to encourage others to get acquainted so together we can bring our experience and concerns to it to make our part of NYC the best it can be.

Joy Garland, ST


Cutting bus stop for speed isn’t worth it

Re: Letter, “Cutting ST bus stop would harm seniors,” T&V, May 19

I agree completely with Ms. Rambusch’s letter regarding the unnecessary removal of the 20th St. Loop stop for the proposed SBS M23 bus service. I am also sending my response to the MTA. Removing the East 20th Street Loop bus stop will prove to be an inconvenience and hardship for many of the residents that live near that bus stop, especially handicapped and older adults who would have to walk long avenue blocks to ride the M23 bus.

The distance between the two 20th Street stops, 1st Ave and Avenue C is three avenue blocks long – a much longer stretch then most of the stops on the SBS M34A bus.

The traffic on East 20th Street heading west is usually much lighter than the congestion that occurs on East 23rd St. I do not think keeping the 20th Street Loop stop with the new SBS will slow the bus speed. I do hope the MTA will reconsider and keep the 20th Loop bus stop in our community.

Barbara Bienenfeld, ST


About those ‘house rules’

To the editor,

Writer Gil (letter, “Appreciating Dog Days and Rick Hayduk,” T&V, May 19) lauded new management but failed to mention the new tyrannical “House Rules” which treat tenants like children.

Did you know that washing the outsides of your windows is grounds for immediate eviction?

Beware tenants. Big brother is working on ways to move you out and cycle your rent levels higher and higher.

Fortunately, the so-called “House Rules” are without legal effect and have no bearing on a rent stabilized lease.

Best regards.

Name withheld, ST

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28 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, June 2

  1. “Fortunately, the so-called “House Rules” are without legal effect and have no bearing on a rent stabilized lease.”

    Big time bogus. These “rules” are in your lease that you signed and some of them are duped in FDNY codes as well.

  2. I think the rule about not washing the outside of your windows is because they don’t want to mop up the splatter when you fall out. The windows are all but impossible to clean safely beyond arm’s reach; you have to practically climb out and be spiderman to clean the outside of the center pane in the living room windows.

    • Correct. It’s a P&C issue. This was speced out in the “rules and regulations” that was disturbed via mail and email blast by Blackstone to all tenants of record here. It falls under section 202 of the New York State Labor Law. That is why to clean the outside windows, one have an approved contractor. Not defending the law or the practice, just stating the fact. And all of these rules and regulations were vetted by Blackstone’s inside and outside counsel as well, including the infamous Fred Knapp (still General Counsel for Stuy Town under Blackstone) who was once counsel at the also infamous real estate front organization laughing called the “Rent Stabilization Association” or RSA for short. Here’s the NYS link,

      http://www.labor.state.ny.us/workerprotection/safetyhealth/SH21.shtm#21.5

      Another link related to NYS Labor Law Section 202 from an attorney’s POV to claim damages.

      http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/new-york-window-washing-accident-lawsuit-attorney-lawyer

        • Property and Casualty.

          “Property and casualty insurance is insurance that protects against property losses to your business, home or car and/or against legal liability that may result from injury or damage to the property of others.”

      • Nonsense. When the windows were installed, management distributed a brand new squeegee/sponge to clean the outside of the windows with. I got one.

    • The house rules state that you can’t clean the windows from the outside, not that you can’t clean the outside of your windows from the inside.

      • I am not a lawyer, but my son-in-law is, and he read my lease. He said there isn’t anything in it that says I can’t clean my own windows, inside or out, whenever I want.

        I don’t want other people reporting on me. What is going on here? It isn’t like it used to be when it was a community.

  3. A million New Yorkers clean the outside of their windows every day. It is not illegal to do so, and it certainly is not grounds for eviction — as the House Rules state.

    JBP

  4. The “regulations” you quoted are irrelevant as they relate to a commercial owner who has to hire certain people to do things a certain way.

    If you as a tenant wish to wash the outsides of your windows, you are well within your legal rights to do so, and you should not fear being evicted.

    Next, they’ll tell us that we can’t change our own light bulbs. Question authority, people. It’s sound advice.

    JBP

    • “James” as one example of the rules (again, read your lease) the stuff people leave in the hallways (BTW, the hallways are not yours) are FDNY code violations. Did you go to Trump Law School?

      Everyone, this is the guy who stated that PCVST always votes Republican, a major false statement, be free to take his “legal’ advice regarding your lease.

  5. Ann Onymous,

    No reason for us to disagree —

    Why not simply post a photo of the section of your lease that says that washing the outside of your windows is not permitted, and results in eviction. Your lease is in English — take a look at the various sections and illustrate what you are talking about so that everyone can see it.

    The “House Rules” are nothing more than an effort to trick tenants into waiving terms of their rent-stabilized leases. If you would like to wash the outsides of your windows, there are no laws or regulations to prevent you.

    But… be careful out there!!

    JBP

    • “The “House Rules” are nothing more than an effort to trick tenants into waiving terms of their rent-stabilized leases.”

      That’s your quote, “James”. ALL the house rules. You keep fixated on the window cleaning which I have I have already pointed out is a P&C issue. So, as per you, I can put a DIRECTV dish on my A/C unit and if notified by Blackstone to take it down because it is a lease violation, I am not to worry. I can also ignore the 80% carpet coverage requirement and the ½ inch carpet padding requirement, even after an inspection showing me in violation of my lease and again, I am not to worry. Place floor mats, bikes, umbrella stands, strollers outside my door after being notified by Blackstone that they are FDNY code and lease violations and again, I am not to worry. Etc. etc. Do you even know what a NYS RS law vetted landlord eviction notice looks like here? It does not even come from Blackstone Legal; it comes from one of their hired major anti-tenant hired legal guns like Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, LLP. Of course, it gives you the opportunity to “cure” before taking you taking to Housing Court for eviction proceedings. But if you don’t “cure”, as you recommend as per your posts, unless you do some major lawyering up (thousands of dollars in legal expense), you’re dead meat in Housing Court, even if they seem (so I have heard) to have a tenant friendly bias.

      “waiving terms of their rent-stabilized leases.”

      Besides, as a Republican, you really don’t believe in the whole concept of NYS Rent Stabilization law, do you? Shouldn’t the “free market” decide everything?

      “Why not simply post a photo of the section of your lease that says that washing the outside of your windows is not permitted,”

      You do realize that this is blog, not a FB page, coded so that one cannot attach a picture here. And please, I am not going to link to my YouTube account at a blog comment post here and give you a slide show of JPG files of my lease pages. Why don’t you post your legal wizardry at one of the two PCVST Tenant related Facebook pages? Please stop giving out your very dangerous legal advice on this blog; you really have no idea what you are talking about. And your disclaimer “but… be careful out there!!”. Wow. Just wow.

      • Would you please take a screen shot and post it here? Many of us were talking in the laundry and we have been washing the outsides of our windows for years. It seems like you and the lawyers are now asking us to stop, or asking others to report us to the managers.

    • As I commented elsewhere, you’re not allowed to wash your windows from the outside of the building (from a scaffolding, for example). You can wash the outside of your windows from inside your apartment. From the house rules: “Tenants shall not attempt to clean any windows in the Apartment from the outside. Such action is in violation of Section 202 of the New York State Labor Law, or any present or future law. For a list of approved contractors, contact Resident Relations.”

      • What about people on the ground floor? I see then standing outside their windows washing them. Will they face eviction?

  6. Tenants should certainly review their leases carefully. It’s written in English, and if anyone can find a provision that says washing the outsides of windows is a violation, they should speak up.

    It’s well-accepted that a lot of people who live here are petty and argumentative. If a tenant wants to look out of dirty, dust covered windows for 40 years, they definitely should do what makes them most comfortable.

    For others, I recommend a bottle of Windex and a copy of yesterday’s New York Observer.

    JBP

    • Funny, “James “ you ignored my text on how your quote states that all of the rules (and I assume you were the author of the original T&V letter as well) are “without legal effect” and can be ignored because one has a RS lease and yet you still stay fixated on the outside window cleaning issue. Well, I went back to my lease, I’m a long term tenant and here’s what it says:

      |
      Guess what? Game over. End of story. Everyone, please remember no matter how many exotic situations you may think up as a way to ignore certain provisions in your lease, you did sign it, a legal document. Will Blackstone start the eviction process against you if you violate just one rule that is on your lease? Who knows but be forewarned, no matter if you live in a non-renovated or renovated apartment, since all apartments here are under NYS RS law (for now) , a way for Management to increase the rent is to churn the apartment and get the 20% vacancy bonus allowed for a vacated apartment. Whatever the amount you pay, be it for a long term tenant lower rate (non-renovated apartment) amount or a market rate, preferential or legal (renovated apartment) amount, that 20% is added on to the new rent for a new tenant to become the new “legal” rent. And any non-renovated apartment vacated will become a renovated apartment with the allowable NYS RS law (in addition to the RS 20% vacancy bonus) rent increase permitted as a percentage of the renovation cost.

      “If a tenant wants to look out of dirty, dust covered windows for 40 years, they definitely should do what makes them most comfortable.”

      This is so disingenuous. Where to begin? Your letter is bogus and all your posts on this blog for this thread are bogus as well. If your advice is followed, it could start an eviction process by Blackstone. Maybe that’s your game. Are you a mole for Management?

      One final question to you, do you even live here?

      • My lease text was MIA. here it is. Sorry.

        “IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 6 OF THIS LEASE TENANTS COVENANT THAT THEY WILL COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING RULES AND REGUALTIONS:

        16. Tenants shall not require, permit, suffer, or allow any windows in the demised premises to be cleaned from the outside in violation of Section 202 of the New York State labor Law, or permit any future or future law governing same.”

        • All I can say is that if you were right, I would agree with you.

          That’s the best that I can do.

  7. I used to work for the city and just read this “Section 202”.

    As Frances Clarke already pointed out, “Section 202” relates to this: having union contractors clean windows, when you decide to hire a contractor.

    Nothing you quoted prohibits a tenant from choosing to clean his or her own windows. I live on the fourth floor and I don’t think that people should be spying on me like this!

    • I was not saying that you should only have union contractors to clean your windows. What I was trying to point out that it is very unsafe to clean your windows on the outside because you have to lean out so far, possibly standing on the inside ledge, and could fall out. Please don’t misquote me.

      • That makes sense. Are you suggesting we use non-union contractors as well, provided of course that they are paid the $15 per hour minimum wage? Thank you.

        • I’m not saying we should use any contractors. I wasn’t even thinking of contractors. My point was that tenants aren’t supposed to clean the outside of the windows because they can fall out. A professional window cleaner knows how to not fall out of the damned window!

        • The Tenants Association took the position that tenants can wash their own windows. Someone else said that it is illegal. Still someone else said that only if you are on the 1st Floor. What about M? What about T?

          It seems that it is up to the tenants to determine if they want to wash their own windows from the outside, and it should not be a violation of their lease if they choose to do so.

          Or are you saying that we need to hire a union contractor?

  8. It seems that the Tenants Association’s position on this: is that it’s allowable for tenants to clean their own windows, notwithstanding the “House Rules”. …

    “You can wash the outside of your windows from inside your apartment. From the house rules: “Tenants shall not attempt to clean any windows in the Apartment from the outside. Such action is in violation of Section 202 of the New York State Labor Law, or any present or future law. For a list of approved contractors, contact Resident Relations.” (See: Anne Greenberg, Director, Tenants Association).

    Kindest regards,

  9. Is there any update as to whether the Tenants Association will or will not allow tenants to wash the outsides of our windows?

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