Letters to the Editor, Feb. 19

Feb19 Toon Capitol gray

Bank policy less than user friendly

Many years ago my lawyer suggested a durable power of attorney document for me and my husband. I put our durable power of attorney documents away until I felt that I might need to use it to pay the ongoing bills.

Recently he was hospitalized and I went to the Chase Bank on First Avenue directly across from Stuyvesant Town on Fifteenth Street. After two days of being asked questions, I was told that it would be in action the next day. The next day, I was told by the bank officer that the document had been refused because it had not been written up in the last six months.

I then said that people do not do this every six months, but only get it done to use in an emergency. She said there was nothing she could do, for that was the rule.

I have my own checking account there and have been a customer for about 20-30 years and even when I brought that up I was still not someone passing through New York City, she still could not do anything for me. I called my lawyer who said that it was just the policy of Chase Bank and did not know of a six-month limit in other cases.

My husband has since recovered and I am going to update this document. I am writing to advise and to warn my neighbors of this ruling by Chase. It might be time to look around for another bank, for I always thought that I could use it whenever an emergency arose.

Mary Devers, ST

Tenants’ subletting is none of TA’s business

Re: “Subletting requires more than just matchmaking,” letter, T&V., Jan. 15, which was written in response to the T&V Jan. 8 article, “New business aims to find sublets for students in Stuyvesant Town”

To the editor:

In years past, the Tenants Association used to stand with tenants. However, in Susan Steinberg’s letter lambasting the sublet matchmaking service, the TA is standing with the property owner. Whose side are they really on?

They are focused on outing the tenants who may need to sublet their apartment for totally valid and legitimate reasons, and may not wish to go to the landlord for approval.

Legally speaking, a tenant who overcharges a sub-letter can be liable for treble damages. And, whether or not they sublet is provided in the terms of their lease with landlords, which is construed liberally in favor of tenants by state courts. Tenants are responsible for knowing the rules.

It seems like the TA is taking an “anti-youth” position here. Tenants do not need the Tenants Association providing “helicopter parenting” to lecture them on what they may or not do.

Name Withheld, ST

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 12

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bare floors create worse noise in converted apts.

Kudos to “Whatever happened to the carpet rule?”! (letter, T&V, Feb. 5)

I would like to add that when apartments are sub-divided and the dining area and another three feet becomes the new living room area and when there are several people in that area (as is often the case), the noise volume is exponentially increased because of the small enclosed space and the echo created when there is no carpeting.

It is sad and unfair that we (I am a lifelong tenant) are unable to enjoy peaceful days or nights in our apartments anymore. I am surrounded both next door and above, with new tenants who either stomp all of the time, drag furniture across the bedroom floor (between midnight and 3 a.m.) and/or who frequently have noisy company, in the “mini living area” during the day and late at night.  And I won’t even mention the constant loud slamming of the apartment doors!

In fairness, I have called security several times and they did speak to the offending tenants and remind them that they are supposed to have carpeting as well as that the noise level was unacceptable. One time, when the stomping and noise level did not abate, security retuned again and spoke with them. They also assured me that they would file the requisite reports.

Although I am a lifelong tenant, I have had several apartment inspections, which I was told were normal protocol – to verify that we did not put up an illegal wall, which we had not.

How are these other apartments not having the same inspection, including for carpeting?

Perhaps the solution is for management to inspect new tenant apartments for compliance and install commercial carpet remnants (cheap enough) when a violation of the carpeting rule is discovered. Since many tenants are transient, they are not motivated to comply with the rules, if there is no penalty imposed.

Name withheld, ST

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New business aims to find sublets for students in Stuyvesant Town

Lucas Chu of NY College Rentals

Lucas Chu of NY College Rentals

By Sabina Mollot

While many longtime residents of Stuyvesant Town would be quick to argue that there are enough college students living in the community already, one entrepreneur is hoping to become the go-to person for students seeking a sublet at the property and said he’s arranged a few sublets already.

Lucas Chu, 27, has set up a website, nycollegerentals.com, aiming to connect would be subletters with residents looking to rent out their apartments for two to six month periods throughout Manhattan. However he’s currently pushing to do more in Stuy Town and the East Village, in particular Stuy Town due to its popularity with NYU students.

“I want to make that area my focus,” Chu told Town & Village on Tuesday. He’s found the sublets there and other neighborhoods south of Harlem through online listings, but said recently tenants and would-be subletters have also begun reaching out to him. “I want to represent more apartments in Stuy Town; there’s a lot of interest from NYU students,” he said. “So far I’ve handled three. I want to do more.”

The way it usually works is, after a tenant expresses interest, “I come over and assess the apartment. I take photos, I put up a listing,” Chu said. Listings go on real estate websites like Trulia and Streeteasy.

The service is free to the tenant offering the apartment, while the student pays a fee of 13.5 percent of what the rent costs each month of the stay. In order to comply with the illegal hotels law, which says residential units can’t be rented out for stays of 30 days or less, he’s made a point to make the arrangements a minimum of two months. Sublets can be for up to two years.

Chu, in his online bio, said he used to work for the Corcoran Group but recently branched out on his own and that he learned about working in real estate, including property management, from his father.

He’s been arranging sublets over the past year, he said, noting that some people just don’t want to get locked into a one or two-year lease. He also currently runs a commercial video production company called Melty Cone. His real estate website went up about six months ago, though this week, it attracted the attention of the Stuyvesant Town Report Blog for its push to get residents to sublet.

When told by this reporter about how the growth of the student population in recent years has also coincided with an increase in quality of life complaints from longterm tenants, usually of rowdy behavior and excess noise, Chu said, “There’s always anger when change happens. I guess I’ll do my research.”

When asked for CW’s thoughts about the new subletting service, Brian Moriarty, a spokesperson for the owner, said while management had no relationship to the company, it wouldn’t be CW’s place to tell Chu not to market a legal service to residents.

On his website, Chu notes that NYU “recommends our real estate services to all their students.”

However, a spokesperson for NYU, when questioned by T&V, said that isn’t exactly correct, although NYCollege Rentals is mentioned on the university’s website on a page offering information to students to aid in their apartment searches. NYU spokesperson Philip Lentz, said, “The site is listed among other sites in our resources for students. It’s not an endorsement.”

The mention of NY College Rentals also notes that NYU students get a discount on the broker fee though the company isn’t affiliated with NYU. NYU’s website also says that there are around 250 graduate students living in Stuyvesant Town in apartments leased through the school.