Over 1,000 residents received notice last week that their rent would increase by hundreds of dollars in less than a month
Residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Vilage have been battling with various landlords for years. A recent win in court which awarded tenants millions of dollars owed in rent that had been collected from illegally de-regulated apartments has now turned out to be a nightmare scenario for some residents.
Residents recently received notice of rent increases ranging from $100 to $900 a month, with only a few weeks’ notice. The notices give over a thousand tenants the choice to start paying higher rates or to vacate within 60 days.
The sudden rent spikes are technically legal and come as a result of a recent settlement in the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer settlement. Thast gave management company CWCapital the option to raise rents in the middle of a lease. Tenants receiving the notices had all signed leases that indicated their rent could increase in the middle of their rental term, but many residents say that their leasing agents didn’t do enough to explain the clause to them and that some even assured renters that there would not be any increases.
“A rent mid-lease rent increase of $900 is nothing less than an eviction notice,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick, who lives in neighboring Peter Cooper Village. “We are tired of this neighborhood being treated like an ATM machine. It shocks the conscience to see a landlord using any means necessary to raise rents with no regard for its effect on a community.”
Garodnick joined with other local elected officials, including Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh.
“The tenants here have been fighting for years against landlords who have ignored tenants’ legal rights and basic fairness,” said Kavanagh. “CW Capital is now giving many tenants two-weeks’ notice to decide to pay up or get out, relying on a clause in tenants’ leases that the landlord’s agents frequently said would not be enforced. This is not the way decent people act and anyone considering signing a lease here should understand that they’re not dealing with an honest landlord.”
“It is hugely unfair that CWCapital would spring drastic rent increases on residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with such short notice,” said John Marsh, president of the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association. “This type of action indicates that CWCapital only wishes to add more turmoil and unrest to our community. Residents can’t be expected to shoulder the financial burden of considerable rent increases with just two weeks’ notice. CWCapital must back down from this mid-lease increase.”
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