TA Activity Roundup—Summer 2017

We challenged MCIs: The TA filed a Petition for Administrative Review (PAR) with the state’s Division of Housing & Community Renewal for exterior restoration work on several Peter Cooper buildings. The outcome of this legal action will ultimately affect residents of other Stuy Town or Peter Cooper buildings that have undergone or are currently undergoing work on their façades. Despite our filing a PAR, DHCR jumped the gun and approved a few of the applications. The TA’s attorney is filing objections.

We educated management how not to collect retroactive MCI charges: An under-door notice from management to residents of one Peter Cooper building hit by the façade MCI advised that the MCI rent increase would appear on September rent bills and that the retroactive increase (20 months) would be billed as a lump sum. That’s illegal, we explained to management. DHCR regulations state that monthly and retroactive MCI charges combined cannot be more than 6% of the rent at the time the MCI application was filed. Furthermore, landlords can’t charge any retroactive while there is an active PAR, which is the case for all the exterior restoration applications. This is why the TA needs you to alert us when you receive a management communication.

We went to bat—again—for key cards without your name on itWhen a tenant recently requested a key card without his name on it, Resident Services claimed he didn’t have that choice. Not so! We quickly clarified the issue with management. The TA won a court ruling on this matter 12 years ago, when MetLife switched from metal keys to electronic key cards. DHCR agreed that having names and photos compromised security. Want a card without your name on it? All you have to do is ask—it’s your legal right.

We stopped reconfiguration work being done without work permits: The TA’s report to the Department of Buildings stopped work on five Peter Cooper apartments that were undergoing major work without permits. Checking on tenant reports of noise, vibrations, and cracking walls, we found that “reconfiguration”—turning the kitchen into a bedroom and creating a kitchenette in the living room—had started without required permits from the DOB. Management had to stop work until the permits were issued.

We arranged a meet and greet for the candidates for our City Council district: A sizable crowd of residents turned out Saturday, September 9, on the Oval to put questions directly to the primary candidates for City Council. We thank StuyTown Property Services for providing the venue.

We hosted a presentation on active shooter situations: FBI Special Agent Jim Kim gave a presentation on active shooter survival strategies.