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Posted by Paul P. Soucek on March 08, 1998 at 14:56:37:

Dear Tenant Net,

Two years past a large real estate corporation purchased the building in which I have had a rent-stabilized apartment for the past eight years.

Since ownership changed from an actual human landlord to a corporation with the efficiency of the Pentagon on a bad day, "quality of life" -- to borrow from our Mayor -- in the building has plummeted.

Recently tenants were sent certified letters informing them of building-wise maintenance slated to take place in the spring.

According to a resident in the building, this same real estate corporation has effected maintenance in other buildings they own, and their practice is ostensibly a guise to flush out rent-controlled tenants by making their lives a living hell for an extended period of time.

According to rumor, the corporation sends mindless crews into a building to make "refurbishments", tears up walls, deactivates plumbing, turns off electricity and elevators, etcetera, all in the guise of major capital improvement.

Their coffers protected via tax abatements and their operations protected by building permits, the real estate agency allegedly then protracts the maintenance -- ostensibly legalized harassment -- for such an extended period of time that many tenants are driven to move out of their apartments.

What kind of protection exists for tenants faced with this kind of situation? Can tenants in a building unify to effect some kind of protection such that if they are inconvenienced beyond "warrant of habitability" the landlord is penalized?

Any insight into this issue before it becomes a major pain in the you-know-what would be most appreciated.

I am also interested told that the real estate management corporation I am referring to, Stanley Wasserman Real Estate Management, has a sour record in terms of tenant relations, building management, etcetera. Where can I track down this information to alert other tenants about what kind of ilk we're dealing with?

Most sincerely,

Paul P. Soucek

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