These are General Guidelines for the TenantNet Forum. We may enforce these at our discretion.
1. Do NOT type in ALL CAPS. On the Internet, ALL CAPS is considered shouting and is considered rude by many users. Use sparingly and when you intend emphasis. Also see paragraph #19.
2. Do NOT use your real name, address or identifying details on the forum. It's no secret that landlord and landlord lawyers watch this board. It's safe to say, for example, that you live in a rent stabilized building in Chelsea. But don't include anything that could easily identify you or your email address, either in your posts, username, signature or profile.
3. While you may edit your posts, do not delete your posts after other users have responded. If you don't want particular information on a public forum, then don't post it here in the first place. Many users read the threads for research, so the particular circumstances raised in your query may help others. More over, if a post has been deleted, substantially edited or gutted, then users that take the time and effort to respond will have their answers become meaningless in the context of a thread. Please use your edits judiciously.
4. No flames, trolls, etc. Limit profanity.
5. No extended discussions on the value of rent regulations. This policy may be relaxed as its intent is to stop flames, trolls and meaningless discussion. It is not a taboo subject, nor is it intended to prohibit occasional substantive remarks on the issue. When we started this forum, we did not want the endless back-and-forth on the value of rent regulation. That's not the purpose of the forum. It invites flames, trolls and free-market absolutists. You know the type ... they quote economics primers, "willing buyer and willing seller." That nonsense belongs on Usenet. An occasional comment or thread (pro or con) is OK and long as it's civil and adds to a discussion. We reserve the right to delete any message or to end a thread.
6. If identifying landlords, attorneys, etc., speak to facts and how they impacted your rights as a tenant. Do not spout unsupported opinions, or make arguments based on gender, race, religion, heritage, and so forth. Of course, politicians are exceptions.
7. If starting a new thread with an inquiry, please state your general location (city, county, borough or general neighborhood only), how old is the building, how many units in the building, the status of the unit (rent regulated, unregulated or other). Also you should indicate whether or not there is a lease and if you are the primary tenant on the lease. Details like this helps people understand the question and respond quicker. Otherwise, time is wasted asking these basic questions. Reciting these basic facts also requires you to analyze and articulate "the problem."
8. Do not start multiple threads concerning the same question or situation. Doing so wastes other forum members' time and causes confusion about what has already been asked and discussed. Duplicate posts may be deleted or closed by the moderator. Choose the one forum area that best fits your question or problem. Don't worry, your question will be seen and will probably be responded to even if you only post it once in one forum. If a topic is off topic to the intent and thrust of the forum, it should be in the General Discussion area and marked in the subject as "Off Topic" or "O/T".
9. Before asking a question about a common situation, search the forum archives for previous posts that address the issue. Every page has a link "Search Forum" as well as a Google search of all of TenantNet. Chances are many of your basic questions have been discussed many times over.
10. Multiple accounts. Don't do it. Users are permitted one user name tied to one email address. If you can't remember your password, it can be sent to the email address on record. If you have changed email addresses, then log on to the system, check your profile and change the email address. We reserve the right to delete, modify or consolidate multiple accounts.
11. All users should remember this is a moderated forum. Our intent is to maintain high quality discussion and focus on the issues rather than censor. Although we understand that some may feel any Internet forum should be completely free of restrictions, over twenty years of involvement with forums and bulletin board systems tells us that occasional moderation helps to maintain the quality of the board.
12. We do not prohibit landlords or anyone from a particular class from participating. However comments should be constructive to the purpose of this forum. There is a difference between being unnecessarily argumentative, pontificating and healthy disagreement. We reserve the right to delete posts, end threads, warn and/or ban users (including email addresses, domains and IP addresses), etc, as we deem appropriate. On occasion, a post might make the central topic of a thread more confusing. Speculation and ambiguity - or even a poster with an agenda - can at times worsen an understanding of the problem, and we retain the right to delete or edit such posts.
13. Disclaimer: Remember, this is a discussion board with many users. Some may have the experience and knowledge that is correct and comprehensive. Others may not. The user should be aware that some facts and opinions on this board may be incorrect and should independently verify any such information. TenantNet is not responsible if a user relies on incorrect information. The law changes over time and is interpreted in many different ways by the courts and administrative agencies.
14. Reliance: If a user known to be an attorney posts on the board, that is not to be considered legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. TenantNet is created by and maintained by non-attorneys. Users are encouraged to seek competent legal advice.
15. Advertising. TenantNet accepts advertising to help defray the costs of its operation. Many tenant attorneys advertise on TenantNet (not just the forum) and we try to limit the advertising to tenant attorneys and not landlord attorneys. Most represent tenants and not landlords although some may represent both sides. The appearance of an advertisement is not necessarily a 'seal of approval' by TenantNet or other tenant advocates. Generally we have no control of the Google advertisements and caution users to exercise due diligence and 'buyer beware' when responding to unknown advertisers.
16. Users may incorporate reasonable-length signatures into their profile and posts. A signature may identify the user as an attorney, other professional or provider of goods or services within reason. It should not appear to be an advertisement and we reserve the right to delete, ban or modify any such signature. It's OK to have a signature that states "Jon Doe, tenant attorney," but it's not OK to include contact details, offers of consultation and so forth. Any user wishing to have such exposure should contact us regarding advertising. It's our call.
17. Anything that appears to be spam will be deleted. At this time avatars are not permitted. Occasional use of emoticons is permitted, but please, do not over do it. Inline graphics are permitted if appropriate to the post. At this time we do not host or allow uploading of graphics or attachments.
18. For Rent, For Sale, Looking for roommate, for sublet, etc. This forum is not a place to advertise apartments for rent, and is not a place to look for apartments. There are plenty of Real Estate web sites and Usenet news groups where this is appropriate. On the other hand discussing methods of looking for apartments, and providing tips -- is appropriate.
19. In addition to item No. 1 (no ALL CAPS), and for showing respect and courtesy to fellow forum members, we ask posters make a reasonable effort to use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. We appreciate that the internet is full of short-cuts (i.e., LOL, AFAIK, ROTFL) and these are all OK. We also understand that English is not native to many users. But too many people are simply lazy. Respect to other users means sentences should start with capital letters and end with periods or suitable punctuation. And it means some practices like "u" for "you" should be avoided. We're not going to bring in the grammar police, but we ask posters to make a minimal effort so we can all understand what you are asking or saying. It's not that hard. In this regard, depending on how offensive a post is, we might delete the entire post.
Remember, a good way to have readers ignore your post is to put everything into one LONG paragraph. Break it up into smaller paragraphs; use good punctuation. Make your post short, succinct and focused, not rambling.
20. Quoting: When quoting text from a previous post in the same thread, there is no need to quote the entire thing. Quoting should be judicious and use just enough of the prior post to establish a context. You could also just point to the prior post, such as "see above," or "see post from 11:15 PM by user XXX."
We recognize that some users occasionally post part or all of an article from another source. Fair Use of outside material is appropriate if it reasonably relates to topics discussed in this forum. If and when such material is posted, to the extent possible, it must include the date, original author and publication, and it must include a URL link-back to the original article or publication.
21. Citation and sourcing. If you cite a law or case, do so in a manner in which the reader can decipher where it comes from. We are not mind readers. We don't expect you to be an expert in legal citation, but we do expect users to use common sense.
If you mention 2524.3(a), then you need to source it as coming from the Rent Stabilization Code. Otherwise no one will know what you mean. The same goes for other laws. There are links to most housing and rent laws at the top of each page. It helps to provide a link in addition to proper identification. (use BBCode mark-up for that). A good example is "RSC §2524.3(a)" FYI, the section symbol "§" can be created by holding down the Alt key and typing 0167 (on a PC keyboard, not above the letter keys).
Lastly, if you're going to quote a law, case, article or other document, in addition to proper citation, you should use quotation marks (opening and closing) or use the BBCode formatting for quoting. (you will need to use the full editor to use BBCode).
22. User Names: Choose a user name that is not - or has no resemblance to - your real name or email address. Better that it not even reflect a real name (yours or not) as people will think it's a real name. User names should not be shorter than three characters. Also see item No. 2 above.
23. We value forum users' privacy and anonymity. Reporters and news organizations seeking interviews with forum users should contact the administrator before making any solicitations. At a minimum, we shall require the reporter's full name and contact info, and the publication for which he/she works or intends for the story to appear.
24. Users must register with real email addresses. That means no temporary, disposable or expiring email addresses, or even addresses intended to be untended or disposable, i.e. "email@example.com." Any such addresses, in our discretion, can result in the user registration being cancelled or deactivated. If a generated notice to a user bounces back to us indicating a non-working email address, we will cancel the user registration. To have a user account, you must have a working email address. We do not sell or rent our user list, and the volume of emails sent to forum users is low. Similarly, anonymized posting can result in user deactivation.
25. Events, political actions. Notices for any events or political actions regarding tenant issues should not be posted without first obtaining clearance from the moderators. You can contact us at http://tenant.net/contact/contact.php or by using the Private Mail facility of this forum. Not everything that purports to be pro-tenant actually is.
REMEMBER ... these are guidelines, but also rules developed with user input over the years that this forum has existed. We may or may not enforce any or all of them at any given time. This forum is here to help tenants and we always consider that in the context of any of the above points.
If you have suggestions to add, delete or modify any of these points, send a Private Mail to TenantNet (Forum Administrator).
Last edited on 22 May 2012