Posted by Richard M. on August 15, 2001 at 14:36:49:
In Reply to: tenant's association posted by Myra on August 14, 2001 at 20:09:24:
: The tenant's in my building want to join together to form a tenet's association. How do we join to make manangement hear us out and make needed repairs thoughout the building. Does the whole building haveto join there are only 6or 7 tenany's interested. TY
Are you in NYC? Is your building rent-regulated (controlled, stabilized?) How many tenants in the building? Have you presented your complaints in writing to your landlord, sending the letter certified mail? This sort of information would be helpful to know.
The more people in your building who join the association, the better; to my knowledge, not everyone must. Based on my experience in organizing a tenant association, though, the first thing you should know is that the axiom, "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" will be brought home to you repeatedly, particularly if you are the head of the association who ends up having to do all the work. Be prepared for a lot of legwork, internecine intrigue, and people expecting from you much more than you'll be able to deliver.
Second, if your problems are serious and you expect little response from the landlord/management, get a good tenant lawyer, for which all tenants in the building, whether they want to actively participate or merely stand by and watch; collect three or four times the amount you think you need (what you will actually spend depends on the conditions in your building and how bad they are, and how much money your landlord is able to spend on lawyers to counter your complaints).
If miraculously you have a landlord/management who, after meeting with you, recognizes his building has problems that need to be corrected, and takes action, you may not need to get a lawyer or file a complaint (with an agency such as the DHCR in NY State). But if you're in NY and you get nowhere with notifying the landlord/management of your complaint, you my want to take action with the DHCR (these days, practically useless in all but the obvious or extreme cases) or taking the landlord to court.
Be meticulous in record keeping. Everything: your communications with the landlord, problems that exist and the remedy the landlord takes, interaction with the tenants, interaction with legal counsel. Right now, before you do anything else, take pictures of problems in your building, if the problems lend themselves to photography.
If you have big problems, it could be a big job. I am sure there are other ideas other posters will give. These are a few.
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