Subject: nytenants-digest V1 #10

nytenants-digest        Thursday, June 12 1997        Volume 01 : Number 010

In this issue:

    Rent Wars
    DHCR Overcharge problem
    a "Safe" New York--safe for whom?
    Help! Early Termination in NYC
    Wanted: a Vision for Affordable Housing
    NYC Residents Firmly Back Rent Regulations, Poll Finds
    First, they want to make sure the rent laws become nothing but
    Re: Yes, but also within NYT article was ...
    Re:  First, they want to make sure the rent laws become nothing


Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 21:39:26 -0400
Subject: Rent Wars

                R E N T  W A R S

[For an official of State or City government, whose longevity is based upon
governing the public, I include the following observation from T. Hobbes:
Leviathan, I, 13. On the subject of power, chaos, war and pact:]

        "In the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel.
First, competition; Secondly, diffidence; Thirdly, glory. The first maketh
men invade for Gain; the second for Safety; and the third for Reputation.

...Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common
Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called
War; and such a war as is of every man against every man. For War
consisteth not in Battell only, or the act of fighting but in a tract of
time wherein the Will to contend by battell is sufficiently known...

        "Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of War, where every
man is Enemy to every man, the same is consequent to the time wherein men
live without other security than what their own strength and their own
invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place
for Industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no
Culture of the Earth, no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be
imported by Sea; no commodious buildings; no Instruments of moving and
removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the
Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is
worst of all continual fear and danger of violent death. And the life of
Man, solitary poor, nasty bruitish, and short...

                                T. Hobbes: Leviathan, I, 13

In my opinion the passing of Vacancy Decontrol and the coercive
representation of a minority class of landlords which have illegally
invaded Manhattan Island for over 200 years by appropriating territory
($24.00, and most have inherited cheap buildings) and then preying upon a
continuous stream of immigrant population to the extreme that dwellers
can't even afford to move elswhere is an act of war against the common
people of our City and our State. If there is a common Power to this
democracy the Landlords want power over it.

It would be wise for The Honorable Mr. Bruno, Mr. Pataki, and Mr. Giuliani
to get ready for what only The Honorable Mr. Silver seems to understand
will be a moment, which Hobbes informs us, is very common to the negation
of human society.

Please contact the Honorable Mr. Bruno, Mr. Pataki and Mr. Giuliani before
Friday to help them think twice before they stumble due to their obvious
lack of experience.


Gov. George Pataki  Hon. Sheldon Silver      Hon. Joseph Bruno
Executive Chamber   Speaker of the Assembly  Senate Majority Leader
State Capitol       Room 932 LOB             Room 909 LOB
Albany NY 12224     Albany NY 12248          Albany NY 12247
518-474-8390        518-455-3791             518-455-3191

The Honorable Alfonse D'Amato
United States Senate
The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

Every State Senator is reached at ...@SENATE.STATE.NY.US

   (and all others) follow suit, using full surname.

Every State Assembly member is reached
(note, however, each name is crunched differently, ie; for Richard Gottfried for Dov Hikind for Assembly Speaker Shel Silver for Michael J. Bragman (majority leader)

PS The Mayor is at City Hall
New York, New York  10001
212 788 7069 or 7009


Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 00:13:11 -0400
Subject: DHCR Overcharge problem

I recently discovered that my building shares a common boiler, water meter, 
electric etc. with the next building over.
Precedence: bulk

They have been owned by the same people for more than 20 years and they are
both over 100 years old.

One has five dwellings and the other four. (9 total)
My understanding is that under 2520.11d of the Rent Stabilization Code this
would qualify as a rent stabilized dwelling.

However, I discovered that back in 1987 a tenant brought a DHCR overcharge
complaint against the landlord and the DHCR noted that the building had
less than 
6 units and was declared not stabilized based on the C of O.

Clearly this decision was based on incomplete information regarding
the status of the central utilities. Infact, the ground floor has
a commercial space that shares both buildings. Do I and my fellow 
tenants have a chance of challenging this?


Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 11:22:00 -0400
Subject: a "Safe" New York--safe for whom?

Our mayor loves to tout crime stats--which are really based on a switch in
the street drug of the moment from crack to heroin--and his lack of dynamic
leadership in the rent struggle (Why ISN'T he advocating Home Rule?) The
fact is, he's as big a republican greed bucket as anyone we're fighting
upstate. We all have read the news in the last few month about European
mother being arrested for letting their kids sit outside or play alone. The
women have had their children taken from them and face criminal charges. he
iunderlying point being made is not that these women are stupid for
believing in the civility of their home nations and that those human
qualities can tranfer to New York City, the unpoken rule is "HEY,
STUPID--this is NEW YORK!"--in other words, this town is ANYTHING BUT SAFE.
So, why do we sit still when people coming here from all over the country
even CONSDIER moving here!
Precedence: bulk


Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 19:49:00 -0400
Subject: Help! Early Termination in NYC

I'm seeking advice regarding my financial obligation to my Landlord due to
the early termination of my lease.  I live in NYC and must relocate to
another city at the end of July.  Thus, I must terminate my lease 7 months
early.  My lease says that I must give 90 days notice.  However, I have
given only abut 60 days notice.
Precedence: bulk

Given the thriving NYC rental market right now, the Landlord will not have any
trouble renting my apartment for more than I am paying now.  If they cannot,
however, I understand that I am responsible for the rent until another
tenant is found.  Nevertheless, in the termination agreement my landlord
sent me, they are requiring a termination fee of one month's rent, an
fee of $500 and the cleaning/painting costs.

Am I obligated to pay these expenses/fees?  What is the landlord's recourse
if I
opt not to pay them?  In that event, I would let them keep my security
deposit as my last
month's rent. 


Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 22:41:17 -0400
Subject: Wanted: a Vision for Affordable Housing

A contribution to the debate.  Sent to the NY Times, whose reporting has
been scandalously biased.  Circulate as you think fit.
- ------------------------------------------------
Precedence: bulk

The public debate that has developed since Republican Senate majority
leader Joe Bruno announced last November his intention to ensure the demise
of the half-century old state rent control and rent stabilization laws when
they expire on June 15 has been so shrill as to render inaudible the few
voices calling attention to the underlying issue - the question of
affordable housing.  To be sure, many of the points of view in the debate
have referred in some way or other to this issue, but none has attempted to
address it in all its complexity.  There are so many factors affecting
housing that serious thinking about solving the problem of the shortage
does not produce good sound bites or good press, and above all, does not
promise quick answers.

Most of the arguments against the existing laws, or advocating their
modification, seriously ignore significant issues that have a bearing on
the housing question, and many - some even well-intentioned - resort to
specious logic to argue their points.  For instance, there is the claim
that sunsetting the laws will enable landlords to collect so-called
“reasonable” (read: market-rate) rents, and thus increase their revenues.
Some of the landlords say they will then be able to invest in renovating
apartments and building new ones.  This is disingenuous, since the present
skewed rental market means that they should actually benefit from the
current situation were they to build new apartments, not be disadvantaged
by it.  Moreover, there is little preventing them from borrowing funds to
build - with or without subsidies - and some of them do.  Thus the
expiration of rent-control and rent-stabilization laws alone will not
induce them to increase the supply of housing.

A few of the other arguments for decontrol made by the landlords and their
allies invite greater scrutiny.  Since landlords must mostly be making a
profit on their investments now, and must have made their investments
knowing full well what the parameters governing the rent-regulated market
were when they did so, what reasonable justification can be made for the
windfall they would receive if rents went up on average “only” 15%, let
alone the more probable 50%, as they claim they would?  And what argument
for decontrol can be made by landlords of unregulated apartments, whose
rents would fall to the new market median - supposedly, by their own
estimates, somewhere between the current higher, unregulated averages and
the current lower, regulated averages?  Strangely, a lobby of landlords of
unregulated apartments trying to protect their investments, which by this
argument would be seriously threatened by deregulation, is voiceless in the

Vacancy decontrol is often advocated as a ”reasonable” compromise in the
dispute over the present laws.  However, it was attempted in New York in
1971-74 and not only caused considerable social upheaval, but also failed
to achieve any of the supposed benefits - new and improved housing, urban
renewal, decline in abandonment and lower rents.  In fact, decontrol
further aggravated the housing crisis in every way.

Finally, the assertion that rent regulation is the cause of the housing
shortage is baseless.  History shows that the rent laws exist because of
housing shortages, and not the other way around.  They have always been
enacted in response to a housing crisis, and when properly formulated,
their calming effect has usually induced slow but sustained development,
which is good for landlords and for tenants.

Now, the present rent regulation system is manifestly unfair.  It is unfair
because some tenants rights are protected in a way that others’ are not.
This must be remedied - by extending protection to all tenants.  Rent
regulation is intended to serve a specific purpose: to induce a measure of
stability into markets that are essentially volatile.  In this respect New
York is not comparable to just any city that has an unregulated market.  It
is only comparable to another metropolis - Paris, Tokyo or London, for
example.  Such cities are subject over time to severe extremes of pressure
on their real estate markets, unlike smaller cities and towns.  In order to
maintain a degree of social stability,  their rental markets must be
regulated in some way.  Regulation protects tenants from violent increases
in rent that would force them to move or relocate when they have no wish to
do so.  Fair regulation should not be burdensome to administer and should
ensure that while tenants are protected from dramatic increases, rents are
adjusted to keep pace with annual inflation rates.  Rent regulation of this
kind is in force in some form or another in many major cities around the
world such as Paris and London.

Discussions of rental housing are often confined to debates about the
economics of development, management and rents.  Economics may be a
legitimate criterion for discussing housing, but it by no means accounts
for all the issues.  Housing is not merely a question of economics, housing
is primarily about people and their lives and it lies at the core of social
issues, along with freedom of speech and the rule of law.

Landlords’ concerns regarding housing are primarily entrepreneurial - they
are generally investing to get a return, assessing and taking risks with
their capital.  They are rewarded, or not,  for their wisdom in their
decisions.  Tenants, on the other hand, are not making investments.  They
do not own their apartments, they make improvements to them for their own
use, and their rental payments only contribute to fulfilling their lease
conditions - they do not bring a return.  By the standards of the
home-ownership market, renters are fools.  They cannot even deduct some of
their rent from their income taxes, like mortgage payments.  But the rental
market exists for tenants at every social level for all kinds of reasons -
the need for a degree of mobility, temporary situations, lack of capital,
lack of ability or inclination to purchase, desire or need to live in a
community that they are unable to buy into, and, more often than not, a
shortage of affordable decent housing to purchase.  What this means is that
tenants are not necessarily transitional - and that many remain renters for
decades or generations, forming complex and rich communities.
Rent regulation means stability, not stagnation.  Stable communities are
able to engage in all kinds of activities social and economic that
contribute to development.  Strictly financial analyses distort the housing
question by neglecting issues of community and culture.  Social values and
economic values must both be taken into account in addressing the problem
underlying the current conflict - the need to formulate a good housing policy.
Affordable housing for purchase and rental is urgently required in New York
City.  This is the key issue - and if the debate could shift to this,
something good might come out of the landlords’ lobbying and attack on the
rent laws.  The terms of the current debate - a calculated threat from the
landlords’ allies in the senate and an equally hard-line response from the
tenants’ associations - are a poor framework for the necessary discussion
about housing, and are clearly forestalling it.  It would be irresponsible
to allow the current laws to expire without proposing a comprehensive
long-term strategy for creating affordable housing - for purchase or rental
- - in New York, and without replacing them with permanent, better rent
regulations which do not expire and which indefinitely set the rules for
developing, managing and renting.  The representatives in the senate,
legislature and positions of leadership in state and local government,
landlords, developers and tenants’ associations owe it to the people of
this State to propose a coherent, effective and sustainable policy for
housing and to calm the hysteria currently infecting discussions.  Until
such a policy for the production of housing and the protection of tenants
can be devised, the present system of rent regulation must be maintained.


Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 03:15:39 -0400
Subject: NYC Residents Firmly Back Rent Regulations, Poll Finds

Page 1 - Wednesday June 11, 1997
Precedence: bulk

NYC Residents Firmly Back Rent Regulations, Poll Finds

News Excerpt:

In margins of at least 70 percent, those polled by the Times -- including
homeowners and tenants -- said rent regulations were necessary to provide
affordable housing and to prevent rents from soaring. 

Nearly 80 percent, an extraordinary majority for any question in New York
City, said they do not want the laws to expire, as the state's top
political opponent of rent regulations predicted Tuesday would happen Sunday. 

Copyright 1997 The New York Times


Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 03:18:29 -0400
Subject: First, they want to make sure the rent laws become nothing but

The big landlord groups don't want to unfairly, raise rents right away.
First, they want to make sure the rent laws become nothing but history.
Precedence: bulk

Rent regulations (a stumbling block for big landlords) prevent rents from
going through the roof for everyone because of the following:

History has shown us that, in the past, big landlords have been known to
warehouse vacant apartments instead of putting them back on the market.
This unfair action on the part of big landlords caused laws to be passed
that limit the amount of apartments a landlord can warehouse to 10% of
their vacant housing stock. In effect, these laws prevent big landlords
from unfairly reducing the supply of apartments in order to drive price sky

The elimination of existing rent regulations would allow big landlords to
side-step warehousing regulations by allowing them to take affordable
apartments off the market simply by setting their prices at very high
rates. This will certainly cause a shortage of affordable apartments and
every tenant in the middle class along with our poor people will be forced
to vacate the city or pay unfair amounts for the few remaining apartments
left on the market.

Without a doubt, these big landlords have enough financial resources to
keep this practice going indefinitely.  As a practical matter, they only
need to sustain this long enough until they can unfairly control public
offices. Under those circumstances, it will be only a matter of time,
before they become permanently dominant and control, not only the supply,
but also the price of the entire housing market.

Windfall profits from bringing regulated apartments to market levels will
be small potatoes. Big landlords know that control of the marketplace is
the name of the game.

The big profits will go to the few who presently have, and have the
resources to build, massive apartment complexes. After everything is done,
small homeowners, of limited resources will be left to ponder what happened
and why they're still no better off than they were before. Tenant voices
will become a non-issue.


Date: June 12, 1997 at 11:30:47
Subject: Re: Yes, but also within NYT article was ...

Too bad tenant groups were unable to define the issues. Seems to me vacancy
decontrol is coming and that the debate is over:
Precedence: bulk

 Page 1 - Wednesday June 11, 1997

 NYC Residents Firmly Back Rent Regulations, Poll Finds

News Excerpt:

"That does not necessarily mean, however, that the public is unwilling to
consider substantial changes in the laws. Opinions were closely divided, in
fact, when residents were asked about some of the proposals being debated
in Albany for replacing the current laws. 

For instance, nearly half voiced support for lifting the ceilings when
apartments become vacant, a proposal, known as vacancy decontrol, recently
made by Gov. George Pataki."


Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 11:49:31 -0400
Subject: Re:  First, they want to make sure the rent laws become nothing

but history.
What??? In your world there are only big landlords, small homeowners and
tenants? The system was abusive to small landlords. Why weren't you a voice
of reason, addressing the problem before the baby was washed away with the
bathwater? Regardless, rent controlled communitities, like ours, are the
reason this move to deregulate is happening. And not just in NY. If the
lawmakers don't make the change, the courts will. US Supreme Court
challenges are making there way as we sit here in front of our terminals.
Upsetting, but the honest to G-d truth.
Precedence: bulk

*    *    *    *    *

: The big landlord groups don't want to unfairly, raise rents right away.
First, they want to make sure the rent laws become nothing but history.

: Rent regulations (a stumbling block for big landlords) prevent rents from
going through the roof for everyone because of the following:

: History has shown us that, in the past, big landlords have been known to
warehouse vacant apartments instead of putting them back on the market.
This unfair action on the part of big landlords caused laws to be passed
that limit the amount of apartments a landlord can warehouse to 10% of
their vacant housing stock. In effect, these laws prevent big landlords
from unfairly reducing the supply of apartments in order to drive price sky

: The elimination of existing rent regulations would allow big landlords to
side-step warehousing regulations by allowing them to take affordable
apartments off the market simply by setting their prices at very high
rates. This will certainly cause a shortage of affordable apartments and
every tenant in the middle class along with our poor people will be forced
to vacate the city or pay unfair amounts for the few remaining apartments
left on the market.

: Without a doubt, these big landlords have enough financial resources to
keep this practice going indefinitely.  As a practical matter, they only
need to sustain this long enough until they can unfairly control public
offices. Under those circumstances, it will be only a matter of time,
before they become permanently dominant and control, not only the supply,
but also the price of the entire housing market.

: Windfall profits from bringing regulated apartments to market levels will
be small potatoes. Big landlords know that control of the marketplace is
the name of the game.

: The big profits will go to the few who presently have, and have the
resources to build, massive apartment complexes. After everything is done,
small homeowners, of limited resources will be left to ponder what happened
and why they're still no better off than they were before. Tenant voices
will become a non-issue.


End of nytenants-digest V1 #10

Subject: nytenants-digest V1 #11

nytenants-digest         Friday, June 13 1997         Volume 01 : Number 011

In this issue:

    What To Do If The Rent Laws Expire?
    Questions & Answers for Troubled Tenants
    Timothy Collins to speak on Sunday
    Two points re stabilization/control
    Rent Laws


Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997
Subject: What To Do If The Rent Laws Expire?

Tenant Self-help Action Guide (What To Do If The Rent Laws Expire?)
Precedence: bulk

Even if the rent laws expire on June 15, some provisions of the
current rent laws remain in effect for awhile. Also, other laws
containing tenant protections do not expire at all. The laws
requiring the landlord to make repairs and provide services remain
in effect. Even if some landlords anxious to exploit the expiration
of rent regulations confront their tenants in ways that make
tenants feel at risk of losing their rights or their apartment,
tenants have ways of dealing with them. Here are a few involving
the most common situations.

Rent laws continue for some

New York City rent control was renewed by the City Council in March
and we believe it does not end with the expiration of the other
related rent laws in the state legislature in Albany on June 15.
Similarly, New York City rent stabilized tenants living
continuously in their apartments since June 30, 1971 do not lose
rent stabilization on June 15.

Tenants with current leases

Tenants under rent stabilization with current leases continue to be
protected from eviction for the duration of their leases. If and
when the rent laws are eventually restored, the right to renew the
lease will be re-enacted. If your current lease expires on or after
October 14, 1997, you lose the right to renew until the rent laws
are re-enacted. Try to hang on to your apartment any way you can so
you can re-acquire the right to renew your lease.

Tenants whose leases have already expired, or will before October
14, 1997

Rent stabilized tenants without current leases because their
landlords have refused or otherwise failed to renew, and tenants
whose leases will expire before October 14, 1997 will continue to
have the right to renew for one or two years at the stabilization
guidelines. If you have already received a renewal offer, you
should execute it and return it to your landlord immediately (make
a copy first) by certified mail. If your landlord has not sent you
a renewal offer (many won't), request one by certified mail and
file a complaint of failure to renew the lease with the Division of
Housing and Community Renewal on Form. RA-90. DHCR will send you a
RA-90 if you call them at (718) 739-6400, or get one at one of
their borough offices.

Landlord offers

If your landlord comes to you with an offer to renew your tenancy
with a unregulated lease at an unregulated rent increase, you
should resist it. When the laws are renewed, you could be stuck
with your decision. We expect many landlords will attempt to evade
the rent laws this way.


No tenant, regulated or not, can be legally evicted in New York
State without an order from a Housing Court judge. The landlord has
no right to order you out of your apartment, or to lock you out,
with or without the rent laws. (See Harassment below.) If it is
happening to you, call the police, a legal services office, or our
hotline for help.


Threats of lock-out, actual lock-out, threats of violence, or other
criminal acts by a landlord should immediately be reported to the
police. Get a copy of the police incident report. Report serious
attempts at eviction to us at Met Council to help us get the rent
laws renewed. Oral threats of eviction that don't result in any
action by the landlord should be a warning that the landlord may
act. Some landlords just like to intimidate their tenants.

Information provided by Met Council on Housing.


Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997
Subject: Questions & Answers for Troubled Tenants

The End of Rent Regulation?
Questions & Answers for Troubled Tenants
Precedence: bulk

What is the difference between rent control and rent

Rent Control was enacted during World War II and subsequently
maintained by New York City and State. Rent Controlled units are
generally occupied by persons who have remained in possession of
their apartments since June 30, 1971 or by their surviving
spouse, adult lifetime partner or other family member. All rent
controlled apartments are in buildings constructed before 1947.
There are approximately 71,000 rent controlled apartments in New
York City.

Rent Stabilization was first enacted by the City of New York in
1969 to cover post-1946 buildings. Since then, the rent
stabilized stock has been greatly expanded as vacated rent
controlled units have come under stabilization. There are
approximately 1 million rent stabilized units in New York City.
Maximum allowable rent increases are set by the New York City
Rent Guidelines Board.

Is my apartment rent stabilized?

Pursuant to provisions of the rent stabilization law, the New
York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)
requires landlords to attach a "Rent Stabilization Lease Rider"
to leases signed by rent stabilized tenants. The Rider describes
the rights and duties of owners and tenants as provided for
under the rent stabilization Law. Look at your lease. If the
rider is attached you can be nearly certain that your apartment
is rent stabilized.

What if the rent stabilization lease rider is not attached to my
lease? or I lost my lease?

To determine whether your apartment BUILDING contains rent
stabilized apartments, go to or email the Rent
Guidelines Board. If the building does NOT contain rent
stabilized or controlled units you can be fairly confident your
apartment is not rent stabilized. However, if the building DOES
contain rent stabilized apartments, that does not necessarily
mean your apartment is rent stabilized (although this is usually
the case). The only way to be certain whether the apartment is
rent stabilized is to contact the New York State Division of
Housing and Community Renewal (718-739-6400).

How do the rent regulation laws work? What is the fuss in

The rent regulation laws are quite complicated. Some of the laws
have been passed by the city, some by the state. Rent
stabilization is subject to a "sunset" provision. That is, if
the stabilization laws are not renewed by the state legislature
by June 15, rent stabilization ceases to exist and landlords are
no longer bound by rent caps or the requirement to renew your
lease IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF CASES. However, some units MAY
remain stabilized, including:

o   Apartments constructed between 1947 and March 10, 1969 with
    tenants in continuous occupancy since June 30, 1971;

o   Apartments which are rent stabilized because of J-51 or 421a
    tax exemptions/abatements;

o   Apartments which are in housing developed by the City's
    Department of Housing Preservation & Development;

o   Apartments in co-op/condo buildings developed under
    non-eviction plans where the original tenants are in

o   Rent stabilized Lofts.

If the rent stabilization rules simply expire there will
certainly be much litigation concerning which types of units
remain or do not remain under stabilization.

An important note: Rent Controlled tenants are NOT affected by
the current debate in Albany. Rent Controlled tenants will be
continue to be protected if current rules are not renewed.

If regulations are not renewed does this mean my landlord can
evict me or raise my rent after June 15?

Although rent stabilization would largely cease to exist, your
current lease would continue to be valid. An owner could NOT
break a lease merely because the rent laws were not renewed.
However, at the end of your lease term the landlord could refuse
to renew the lease and/or charge whatever rent the market will

My current lease ends August 15. I have already received and
signed a lease renewal offer from my landlord. Will this lease
be valid even if stabilization regulations are not renewed?

Yes. Even though the lease term will not begin until after the
June 15 sunset date, the fact that you have received and
accepted a renewal offer means that you will continue to be
protected until the end of this lease.

My lease runs out July 1. I haven't been offered a renewal
lease. Does my landlord have to offer to renew my lease?

One of the primary features of the rent stabilization law is
that tenants have the RIGHT to renew their lease. Current law
requires landlords to offer a renewal lease not more than 150
days and not less than 120 days before an existing lease
expires. The offer to renew the lease for New York City tenants
must be on a Renewal Lease Form [DHCR form RTP-8]. You should
have been offered a lease renewal by now.

Call your landlord and ask for a renewal form. If your landlord
or management company refuses to provide a lease renewal, you
can file a complaint with the Division of Housing and Community
Renewal (DHCR) by requesting the following form: Tenant's
Complaint of Owner's Failure to Renew Lease and /or Failure to
Furnish a Copy of a Signed Lease [DHCR form RA-90]. Call
718-739-6400 to obtain the form.

Information provided by the Rent Guidelines Board
phone: 212-385-2934.


Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997
Subject: Timothy Collins to speak on Sunday


An address to be given by Timothy L. Collins, 
former Executive Director of the New York City Rent 
Guidelines Board

Sunday, June 15th,  11:00 AM
Brooklyn Society of Ethical Culture
53 Prospect Park West - Brooklyn

Mr. Collins is the author of:

o  Do Rent Regulations Produce Fair Rents or Forced Subsidies

o  Law Review: "Fair Rents" or "Forced Subsidies" Under Rent 
   Regulation: Finding A Regulatory Taking Where Legal Fictions Collide

o  Dispelling Disinformation About Rent Controls

All three articles are available on TenantNet in the Guide to
the Rent Wars section,


Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 15:12:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stan Bernstein 
Subject: Two points re stabilization/control

I realize I may be preaching to the choir here, but there are two germane
points that I never see addressed in the debate over rent

1. Payment Patterns of Long Term Occupancy

In discussions of rent control/stabilization and "fairness," the long-term
tenant is often portrayed as a free-loader. What is _never_ taken into
account in this characterization is the fact that very often, the tenant
moved in many, many years ago--and when the tenant moved in, he was paying
the highest rental in the entire building. I well remember moving into my
current apartment 30 years ago. At the time, my rental was $150 per month
whereas most of the other tenants were paying appr. $50 per month. The
landlord (from the old country) would tip his hat to me because "You're
supporting this building--the others are freeloaders." Now I'm paying
approximately $450 per month--and I'm characterized as the freeloader
because nonstabilized, noncontrolled apartments rent for approximately
$2,000--which I can not afford. Nothing is mentioned, however, of the
_cycle_ of payment. That older tenants are given a break and that
newcomers pay more is a system that long-terms tenants experience BOTH the
advantages and disadvantages of. I know that in the 30 years I've been
living in this small Greenwich Village walk-up, in real dollars I've spent
more in rent than any of the succession of landlords who have come, made
their money, and left. 

2. My Fear

My greatest fear in the current political situation is the following. Dems
will cling to the "No change whatever is acceptable" ideology. Republicans
(who have been paid a fortune by landlords to buy our eviction) will say,
"Look, we tried for a working agreement to save stabilization/control but
the Dems won't budge an inch." So, in the course of things, naturally no
agreement is reached, the law expires, and the Republicans blame it on
the "uncompromising" Dems. And the politicians, Dem and Republican, all go
home to their luxury co-ops and townhouses--and we get evicted. I see this
as a clear and present danger. A question. What _will_ happen if the law
quietly expires? Does anyone think that landlords _won't_ impose enormous
rent increases as soon as any controlled/stabilized tenant's lease
expires? There are visions (fantasies largely) of huge groups of tenants
taking to the streets. Will this actually happen, and if so, will it
result in an extension of control/stabilization once it is gone? It could
work out that way, but that conclusion is far, FAR from assured in my



Date: Thu, 12 Jun 97 18:05:38 UT
From: "Elliot S. Livingston" 
Subject: Rent Laws

One thing no one seems to have suggested or considered is the following:

1. Require all owner/landlords, including co-ops and condos, to be LICENSED!  
Just like a restaurant/bar owner.

2. Then if a pattern of overreaching/abuse/harassment of tenants is found, 
they are just "out of the business", the same as if the aforementioned 
bar/restaurant owner had lost his liquor license.

They could just take their capital and invest in muni bonds or stocks; or, 
just get out of town!



End of nytenants-digest V1 #11

Subject: nytenants-digest V1 #12

nytenants-digest         Sunday, June 15 1997         Volume 01 : Number 012

In this issue:

    D-Day on Rent Regs
    Vacancy Deregulation--The Once and Future Onslaught 
    Cardinal O'Connor: A Moral Reflection On Rent Control
    Re: Lease Renewal question?
    Re: Lease Renewal Question


Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997
Subject: D-Day on Rent Regs

This is D-Day, June 15, 1997 and if no action is taken by midnight, the
rent laws will expire. As of 3 PM, an impasse continued between the
Pataki/Bruno/Landlord forces and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. If we
hear of any news, we'll send out a newsletter right away.
Precedence: bulk

AOL subscribers. If you get this and other newsletters late, you should
complain to AOL. We've noticed many times that AOL simply turns off the
receiving of mail for several hours or for more than a day.

If you notice any harassment from your landlord -- of any kind -- please
call the hotlines listed in our last newsletter AND ALSO please email us
with a detailed description of the nature of the harassment, your name,
address and (important) the name or company name of your landlord.
Harassment includes direct threats, impled threats, off-hand remarks,
denial of services, denial of a renewal lease and almost anything improper.

More later as soon as we hear of anything.


Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997
From: Steven.Dobkin
Subject: Vacancy Deregulation--The Once and Future Onslaught 

Vacancy Deregulation--The Once and Future Onslaught
by Steven Dobkin

If recent history is any guide, vacancy deregulation will mark
the beginning of a new onslaught against low income tenants,
in particular those living in the path of real estate
development, and very little will be done about it.

In February of 1972, in the early days of Rockefeller's
vacancy decontrol, I began defending  tenants as a VISTA
lawyer assigned to South Brooklyn Legal Services. Vacancy
decontrol had begun at the end of June of 1971, and the blitz
against regulated tenants was already going full blast. A
landlord was allowed to do whatever he wanted with every
apartment freed up by a departure in life, or death. Once
vacated, apartments could be held empty for years, or rented
for whatever the inflamed market would bear.

It was a field day for landlords' lawyers. Every conceivable
technical lease violation rose to the magnitude of a
"substantial breach" as owners bombarded the landlord-tenant
court with baseless holdover proceedings. During this period
of undiluted vacancy decontrols I represented an elderly
couple accused of throwing wild parties at all hours and a
large family evicted for using too much toilet paper.
The proceedings in Brooklyn's housing court were a nightmare
for tenants. Those who could not afford a lawyer or qualify
for legal services were thrown to the mercy of the landlord
bar who roamed through the halls of the court armed with a
threat and a possible deal. More often than not, worn out by
adjournments, and thoroughly confused by the proceedings, the
tenant would agree to move out. In those days there were still
places to move to.

The signs of the onslought were everywhere. The subtle forms
of harassment were often not so subtle. Elderly and mentally
ill people often told me of random events that could be
attributed to forgetfulness or paranoia. Money and jewelry
were missing from drawers. Thugs seemed to be the new tenants
of choice in many buildings, where they would openly use
drugs, bang heavy objects against the walls late at night, and
menace tenants in the halls.

Senior citizens frequently complained that the landlord's
goons were entering their apartment whenever they went out. At
least three elderly women in different buildings who otherwise
seemed in full command of their faculties made the bizarre
claim that their underwear was found slashed in their bureau
drawers while they were out shopping.

Those tenants who lived in the path of development faced a
particularly precarious future. In neighborhoods like Brooklyn
Heights, Cobble Hill, Flatbush, Borough Park, and Park Slope,
where property values had shot up, and young, affluent
Manhattanites were looking for value and a decent place to
live, regulated tenants became sitting ducks. "Development"
often meant reducing the number of apartments by half as
smaller units were combined into luxury apartment.
Gentrification also caused  a shift in ethnic composition.
People who had lived in a neighborhood all their lives were
faced with relocation to make way for wealthier people.

One day in the winter of 1972, Mercedes Vega, who had lived in
her rent controlled ground floor building at 13-15 Strong
Place in Cobble Hill for more than thirty years returned home
from shopping to discover that a wrecking ball had knocked
down the rear wall of her bedroom. She found herself looking
directly out into the back garden. A week before, the new
owner had written a letter to all tenants at Strong Place that
he could not be responsible for their life and limb while
renovations were going on.

In Brooklyn Heights, in the winter of 1973, Mr. Margulies, the
Receiver of rents at the Hotel St.George, attended a meeting
with the remaining long term tenants. He pleaded for
understanding of the underlying problem leading to the need
for them to pack their things and migrate from the Towers to
the Weller Building (and, later to the Clark Building)."It's
the Arabs!" he stormed."They're making it impossible to heat
the building. "You all know me," Mr. Margulies told the crowd,
"I'm not a landlord, I'm a social worker."

A not-for-profit social services agency, with an office
provided rent-free by the management of the Hotel, served as a
relocation resource, assisting the elderly and disabled
tenants in the ongoing move to smaller and more expensive
hotel rooms. Preferences were sometimes made available for
admission to local nursing homes, where some of the residents
tended to shout all night.

Once vacated, the Towers was converted to a luxury

Nowhere were thug tactics more abused than at Midwood Gardens
in Borough Park, where, at the end of the decade, developers
succeeded in removing all but seventeen of the seven hundred
rent regulated families in less than two years. More than
fifty incendiary fires were set, thugs were moved in, green
card panic was set loose, windows were smashed, and the boiler
room was flooded in a terror campaign managed by a relocation
specialist brought in from the Middle East. Local politicians
and the neighborhood community development agency, which had a
contract to market the developed units, fully supported the
developers. To clean out the last seventeen holdouts, the
developers hired as their attorney  the Secretary of the Kings
County Democratic Party, who succeeded for years in tying up
efforts to restore even minimal housing standards.

Although the shut-off of essential services was a crime, the
criminal court judges felt they had more important problems to
deal with and the average fine for a violation was less than
ten dollars.

Tenants could complain about harassment at the in-person
criminal complaint part on Pennsylvania Avenue in East
Brooklyn but few cases were processed beyond the mediation
stage. Harassment is hard to prove. Only on Columbo does the
wealthy businessman commit the crime himself. In real life,
there are seven degrees of separation between the teenage drug
addict that gets paid $30 by the super's third cousin to light
a fire. Hard to prove, but easy to do. And inexpensive.

The City office responsible for dealing with harassment, the
Office of Rent Control, was unable to handle the flood of
complaints. The Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, who had an
Edward G. Robinson persona, would often deliver a tough speech
to the owners and their attorneys before a case began its
labyrinthine trail through the agency, which was preoccupied
with processing  rent increases and had little time or
personnel to prosecute harassment.

Years later the "Chief" was indicted and pleaded guilty to
taking bribes from owners. Denying that he had done anything
wrong, he explained to me. "Steve, it was like a 'B' movie. I
woke up. There was a gun in my hand - and a body on the
floor." In most cases, the system choked off serious
enforcement efforts with no need for bribery.

Lawsuits by the tenants sometimes resulted in substantial
verdicts against the owners for intentional infliction of
emotional anguish and punitive damages, but almost all of them
were reversed by appellate courts on technicalities or drawn
through the prolonged agony of litigation so that some appeals
are still pending today, twenty years later, and the
victorious tenants have failed to see a nickel in recovery.

In 1979, in the landmark case of  Notre Dame v. Miller
Manhattan Housing Court Judge Harriet George, noting that "too
often today an empty building is economically more
advantageous to its owners," refused to allow the permanent
eviction of the tenants of one SRO, emptied by a fire. But for
the most part the Courts openly tolerated harassment and did
little or nothing to stop it.
Today, with federally funded legal services barely a shadow of
its former strength, and with the Division of Housing &
Community Renewal, the Attorney General's office, and the City
of New York all in the hands of the party about to unleash the
new nightmare, the prospects for any serious efforts to halt
the coming harassment seem remote.

In the 1970's, many heros of the tenant movement risked their
lives refusing to submit to the open season on low income
tenants that was announced with the passage of the vacancy
decontrol law. In 1974, after the Stein Commission's
investigation unveiled the nightmare, a  Republican
legislature and governor passed a law appropriately called the
Emergency Tenant's Protection Act. Today, Andrew Stein wonders
whether their conclusions were correct. From the standpoint of
humanity, yes. From his current perspective as a businessman,
with an eye on the bottom line, perhaps not.

Senator Bruno said recently that if even one landlord is put
in jail, the law will be a success.

Cardinal O'Connor, courageously, and against the financial
interests of the Catholic Church as a major landowner, has
called for a halt to plans to change the rent laws until a
more thoughtful and considered look at the question can be

There is still time to stop this madness.
June 12, 1997
Steve Dobkin


Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997
Subject: Cardinal O'Connor: A Moral Reflection On Rent Control

by JOHN CARDINAL O'CONNOR, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

I offer here one man's perspective on the debate being waged on questions
of regulating and deregulating rent. It does not pretend to be
inflallible. Moral reasoning may not be helpfully separated from reality;
particularly, in this case, economic and political reality; As Pope John
Paul II has put it "To be sure, there is no single model for organizing
the politics and economics of human freedom. Different cultures and
different historical experiences give rise to different forms of public
life in a free and reasonable society." [5 Oct. 1995, to the General
Assembly of the United Nations]

I suggest this caution, in part, because in my own efforts to sort out the
issues, I have studied and listened to a number of conflicting opinions
and read a good bit of conflicting data....

The more I study and listen the more I see the basic question before us in
this democratic society: "How are we to live together?"

Which brings me to the heart of the question about rent regulations and
then to what may be well indispensable to a resolution of conflicts. As I
understand it, the key question about rent regulations is startlingly
simple: "Do rent regulations advance or impede the availability of
affordable housing?" The moral imperative, after all, is that dignified
housing is a human right. If it is not a hunaan right, for poor, middle
class, wealthy, whatever the ethnic or racial diversity, employed or
unemployed, landlord or tenant, then the argument is economic or
political, rather than necessarily moral. If, as the Church teaches,
dignified housing is a human right for everyone, then housing must be
reasonably affordable for everyone. Responsible landlords whom I know
personally and consider to be individuals of integrity, tell me that
vacancy decontrol, for example, is absolutely essential, if many landlords
are to survive, keep buildings in repair and meet the needs of tenants,
and if the supply of affordable housing is to increase. I have met,
however, with responsible representatives of tenants who hold the opposite
viewpoint, who also seem to me to be individuals of integrity; and who

Vacancy Decontrol means the destruction of all rent and eviction
protection laws.

Vacancy Decontrol was in effect for three years, from 1971 to 1974. It was
such a disaster that the State Legislature and Governor repealed it in

Under Vacancy Decontrol:

 -  Rents skyrocketed.

 -  Evictions and eviction attempts were at an all-time high.

 -  There was no increase in the construction of new housing

 -  Money spent by landlords on capital improvements decreased.

 -  Them was no slowing of the rate of abandonment

These are diametrically opposed positions to those of responsible
landlords. Yet in speaking with proponents of each of these positions, I
have found remarkably little rancor; at least in my presence. In fact,
tenant associations have told me of some tenant who victimize landlords,
while some landlords have told me of some landlords who victimize tenants.
Even more remarkably, perhaps, both sides have told me they would like to
get together on the issues in an appropriate forum to try to resolve them
justly and amicably.

The Archdiocese of New York knows something about the poor. In our
inner-city schools, more than 60 percent of our youngsters are from
families below the poverty line, more than 60 percent from single parent
families, some 85 percent black and Hispanic. Their families sacrifice a
great deal to keep them in our schools, and I personally spend a lot of my
time begging in order to supplement tuition charges, which we keep as low
as possible. Those families should not be forced to choose between schools
of their choice, to help their youngsters break out of the cycle of
poverty on the one hand, and decent housing on the other...

I hear people speak of "trade-offs" by which they mean that everyone has
to choose. If for example, you want to live in the city you have to pay
accordingly, such observers would argue. That's morality and economics in
a vacuum. How long will it take to get to work if you live far from your
job? How much will it cost? How much more time are you away from your
children? What is to be traded off? Food, education, healthcare? These are
human rights....

In my judgment therefore, because the human rights of all are involved,
the morally right thing would be to include representatives of all in
addressing the issues before making substantive changes over however long
a period of time. I would hope that appropriate governmental authority
might consider it wise to call for a broadly representative body,
challenging both landlords and tenants, poor, middle class, wealthy, of
various racial and ethnic backgrounds, most particularly of New York City,
the area most deeply affected, but from other areas of the state, as well.
Their mandate? To ask themselves if they agree on the 'worth and dignity
and the human rights of every individual in society'. Ask themselves if
they believe that affordable housing is a human right for everyone. Ask
themselves how affordable housing can be achieved, sustained and fostered
workably within our political and economic system. Ask themselves what
sacrifices they are prepared to make, what compromises they are willing to
share. Ask themselves how we can live together as a people. Ask themselves
as landlord associations and as tenant associations if they are willing to
"police" themselves to prevent or reduce abuses. Ask themselves what they
honestly believe to be not simply the easy, or the selfserving, or the
profitable thing to do - although reasonable self-interest and reasonably
profitable ventures are quite legitimate - but the morally right thing to
do. Other questions will follow in their sincere efforts to share their
talents, their experience, their goodness. Presumably all conclusions
would be submitted to the convening authority. If legislative action were
then necessary to respond, it could be taken. Such would seem to be the
democratic process....

In the meanwhile, although legislative procedures and technical know-how
are obviously the prerogatives of legislators, perhaps any anticipated
deadline on the current system could be postponed by the equivalent of the
"continuing resolution" used to permit governtnent spending despite
deadlock on a new budget. Smarter people than I will know how such delay
could be provided without forcing legislators to be seeming to abandon
positions which they believe integrity requires them to have taken.

Let us all pay for those government and civic leaders most immediately
involved in trying to come up with morally right, economically effective
and politically prudent solutions to the debate about rent regulations.
Their efforts have our good will....


Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997
From: Steve Penn 
Subject: Re: Lease Renewal question?

Thanks very much for all the useful information in this 
terrible situation. Your last note almost covered my situation, 
but for one question:  My lease expires June 30 and a couple of
months ago I signed the new lease under the rent stabilization guidelines.
But a note was attached (that I had to sign) saying that if the 
rent guidelines change or expire in the interim, the lease could 
then be changed.  Can you explain what the landlord
would be able to do in such a case?

Steve Penn


Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997
Subject: Re: Lease Renewal Question

Steve Penn wrote:
Precedence: bulk

>Thanks very much for all the useful information in this 
>terrible situation. Your last note almost covered my situation, 
>but for one question:  My lease expires June 30 and a couple of
>months ago I signed the new lease under the rent stabilization guidelines.
>But a note was attached (that I had to sign) saying that if the 
>rent guidelines change or expire in the interim, the lease could 
>then be changed.  Can you explain what the landlord
>would be able to do in such a case?

What you are describing could be a normal situation that happens every
year and might not necessarily be a part of the Denial of Leases we've 
seen and expect to see more of in anticipation of the rent laws expiring. 
As you may know, under rent stabilization, owners are required to offer 
tenants renewal leases 120 to 150 days prior to the expiration of the 
current lease.

But up until late June when the NYC Rent Guidelines Board decides the
percentage increase for the following year (for all leases commencing
after October 1), neither the owner nor the tenant knows the percentage
the lease will go up. So to get around this quandry, owners are still
required to offer leases, but with a proviso that the actual percentage
and rent levels will be determined once the RGB makes its decision.

If this is the case, this is normal and happens every year.

But in your case, you state your lease expires on June 30, so the new
lease would normally take effect on July 1. You are entitled to a lease
at the current RGB percentage increases (which you can get off the TenantNet
web site at

If your lease commences on or after October 1, 1997, then the (at this time
unknown) RGB increases for 1997-1998 will apply.

If your lease commences prior to October 1, 1997, the current 96-97 RGB
apply -- no matter what your landlord wants you to think. He will probably
your signature on a side note is a "waiver" of your rights in this matter
is why you should never sign anything unless required to do so). If the laws 
expire, you have signed a lease (or have had the right to sign a lease)
that should
protect you until that lease expires. And the rate that applies to this
lease you've
signed should be at the rates now in effect. I would write the owner a note
him this.

Any landlord that refuses to offer a lease at the legal rent and on the
same terms 
and conditions as the expiring lease is breaking the law and you should
report him
to DHCR and the Attorney General. You should also give us the details.


End of nytenants-digest V1 #12

Subject: nytenants-digest V1 #13

nytenants-digest       Wednesday, June 18 1997       Volume 01 : Number 013

In this issue:

    Re: Rent Regs Update - June 15, 11 PM
    Re: Vacancy Decontrol is still Vacancy Decontrol
    Class Action 
    5% Vacancy Rate
    Street Artist demo 6/18
    Re: Vacancy Decontrol is still Vacancy Decontrol


Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 10:11:04 -0500
From: "Neile" 

6/16/97                    contact: Neile Weissman
For General Release:       212-473-7537 =95 212-473-7584 fax


Democrats and mainstream tenant's organizations claim a victory.  I'm
sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but who won what?  Sen. Bruno's been
calling for total decontrol for so long that everyone is relieved he
didn't get it.  Yet, based on available information, it looks like
tenants did all the compromising.

Worse, they are on a six-year glide path towards total decontrol.  Why
should upstaters care?  The escalation of rents will translate into less
money for consumer purchases -- instate and otherwise.

An overview of what tenants have lost; won; and could have won.

LOST: Judges will immediately lose their discretion to allow tenants to
use rent money for fuel and emergency repairs.  All rent will now be
placed in escrow.  Striking tenants must now come up with additional
moneys to make emergency repairs and purchases of heating oil,  In a
cold winter, this will cost lives.

=95 While landlords didn't get outright vacancy decontrol, they  do get a
"bonus" for apartments vacant over 8 years and an extra $100/month if
they can regain possession of apartment that had rented for under $300.=20
While increased penalties for harassment have been announced, no funds
for enforcement have been discussed.

=95 Succession rights will only be for a single generation.

=95 The luxury decontrol threshold will drop from $250k to $200k.

Conclusion: As a result of the Pataki/Silver/Bruno deal, regulated
tenants will be numerically fewer and financially less well off then
they are today.  Also they will be significantly less able to weather
the next landlord-financed offensive six years from now.=20

WON: Nothing.  They are worse off today then they were on Friday.

WHAT TENANTS COULD HAVE WON: A commitment to increase the number
affordable housing through direct investment; government loans; and tax

=95 "Home Rule" enabling the city to reform its own housing laws.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------
Captain Charles C. Boycott, 1832-1897, English land agent in Ireland
whose tenants and neighbors boycotted him when he refused to lower
rents."  Scott-Foresman Advanced Dictionary

                            -- 30 --


Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 15:11:10 -0500From:
From: (Steve Wishnia)
Subject: Re: Rent Regs Update - June 15, 11 PM

The so-called "compromise" on the rent laws is extremely enraging. Last
year we were outraged when Giuliani pushed through 14-16% increases on
vacant apartments-this year were supposed to celebrate because we got away
with 20% and more?

The most frustrating thing about the complete lack of debate in Albany and
the generally pathetic media coverage of the issue (Michael Finnegan, Juan
Gonzalez, and Anne Kornblut in the Daily News were the big exceptions) was
the ignorance of the basic issues: Rents are already far too high in the
New York area. Regulated tenants pay on average almost one-third of their
income for rent. Poor, working-class, and increasingly middle-class people
are doubled and tripled up. 

If you need to move, you were already in trouble. With the new law, it's
much worse. With the 20%-plus vacancy increases landlords can now legally
get (forget what they were scamming or getting from renovation, which
effectively mean market rate in most middle-class areas), an apartment
already overpriced at $850 will go up to over $1,000.

But instead, we got newspaper editorials talking about how essential it was
to bring apartments up to market rate-when most New York tenants don't even
make $2,500 a month. A handful of multimillionaires was able to buy enough
politicians to threaten the homes of millions of New Yorkers, and the media
just didn't get it. The proposal to reimpose vacancy decontrol-one of the
most disastrous episodes of right-wing social engineering in New York
history-was hailed as a compromise.

The final deal reminds me of the time in early 1992 when I came home from
work to find my door wide open and an empty space where my son's Nintendo
and his mother's TV used to be. I was glad that they didn't get my stereo
or my guitars, but we lost a lot-and the criminals are still at large.

- -Steven Wishnia
(I'm editor of Tenant, the Met Council newspaper, but these opinions are my


Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 22:52:28 -0700
From: Richard Brummel 
Subject: Re: Vacancy Decontrol is still Vacancy Decontrol

I am in complete agreement with your denunciation of the vacancy bonus 
plan, which destroys affordable housing and encourages landlords to 
remove etc. tenants, particularly long-time tenants.
Precedence: bulk

- --Richard Brummel Candidate for City Council 26th Councilmanic District 
(Westcentral/Southwest Queens) (718) 458-0760. Also publisher, Democracy 
in Action newspaper.


Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 11:59:18 -0400
Subject: Class Action 

Dear Mayor Giuliani:
Precedence: bulk

I think the city government should respond to this break in the State
government's emerging system of terror with a class action against the
state for negligence. Six months of mass hysteria? The six month
interruption of millions of peoples futures? Openly terrorist propaganda?
The holding of our legal rights hostage for ransom? And then expecting that
a "deal" is going to take care of us. Well, i don't know about you - but i
feel like the city was "mugged." If we let this type of behaviour go
unchecked how will the State government start to treat the city on upcoming
issues? They will resort to constant reckless and terrorist tactics to get
other material gains from us, i promise you. My next vote goes to the mayor
who will file class action against the state government. Why, i might even
be willing to pay higher local taxes to see them put to such good use.
Bruno started a premeditated campaign of terrorism months ago after his
palms had been caked by the lobby. And Pataki - has obviously enjoyed
having the strongest reign of provincial power over cosmopolitan world
culture since the early days of the brown shirts. Well what about Mayor
Giuliani? The entire City has been victimized by The State. I want our
Mayor! to prosecute these people and i would hope you should feel mandated
by the city voters. You are elected, above all, to protect the people of
our city. I will vote for you when you manage to put these criminals where
they belong. When are you going to announce your strategy to the citizens?
We are ready.



Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 06:46:12 -0400
Subject: 5% Vacancy Rate

After having only heard the initial "high" points of the new rent law 
extension, my conern is still the apparant attempt to increase the vacany rate
to 5%.  It's now at 4.1%.  

What happens if it reaches 5% in three years, when the city law expires?

Do we now have to start a new campaign to pressure the city to also pass a 
6-year law so that there is no vacancy rate survey 3 years from now?

Bottom line:  I don't trust any thing the politicians do, especially when they
seem happy and satisified.

Tenant Leaders!  What now??  


Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 23:29:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Street Artist demo 6/18

For immediate release: 

Wednesday, June 18th 1997 5 P.M. #20 Mott Street
A.R.T.I.S.T. Demonstration (Artists' Response To Illegal State Tactics)
N.Y.C. Street artists will protest against the re-election of City Council
Member Kathryn E. Freed outside Freed's controversial Chinatown fundraiser.

For more information on A.R.T.I.S.T. or this demonstration call:
Robert Lederman (718) 369-2111 (212) 334-4327  E-mail 
or visit the A.R.T.I.S.T. web site at:

[Also see: N.Y. Times 6/3/97 Metro page B3 "SoHo Street Artists Triumph As
High Court Rebuffs City"; N.Y. Times Editorial 6/4/97 "Street Art Wars"; 
Daily News Op-Ed 6/16/97 pg. 31 "Street art peddlers will try city's soles"; 
      The Villager 6/11/97 pg. 1 "Candidates debate turns heated".]


Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 22:41:09 -0400
From: Michael Vario 
Subject: Re: Vacancy Decontrol is still Vacancy Decontrol

TenantNet wrote:

> We've just received the following from Albany.
> Although the text of the actual bill is still unavailable,
> this outlines the major points of the "agreement" arrived at
> last night between Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Governor
> Pataki and Senator Joe Bruno.
> No wonder Pataki is beaming. We'll have more to say later, but no
> one should deceive themselves that this does not represent the
> destruction of rent regulations. Any tenant advocate that may
> claim this is a "victory" is either on LSD or in denial. Claiming
> you've won when you're running for your life is just plain stupid
> and, very unfortunately, one of the reasons tenants have been
> losing for the last twenty-five years.
> Simply put: Sheldon Silver sold tenants down the river.

I think he just figured he'd get whatever he could.  If he didn't take
it then it would have died in total/immediately.  I agree it sux, and it
just stretches out the death of stabilization, but as long as the
Republicans weren't going to give in I don't think Silver had a whole
lot of options, it's like, duh, what could you do in his shoes?  say 'no
way' and get nothing instead of a crumb?  Yeah, not much choice.  Well
lets just hope EVERYONE remembers this s**t at election time, and let's
not leave an incumbant standing!

- -m


End of nytenants-digest V1 #13


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