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Monday, May 9, 2011

No Stovetop Cooking For You If You Live In Roosevelt Island's Westview Mitchell Lama Building - Gas Service May Be Interrupted for Up To 2 Months, But At Least RY Management Will Provide Hot Plates

Image of Dual Burner Hot Plates  From GE Housewares

An outage of gas service for residents of Roosevelt Island's Westview Mitchell Lama building is scheduled to begin May 18 and may last as long as two months according to the Notice below sent by Westview's RY Mangement Co last week. The Notice states that there will be no cooking gas available during this time but RY Management will provide residents with dual burner hot plates. Click on the Notice to enlarge it.



I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez for a comment. Mr. Martinez replied:
I have a call in RY Management. Jennifer Jones will not be back in the office until Tuesday.

Image of Westview Entrance

The Westview Task Force (WVTF) representing the building's residents issued the following statement:
Dear neighbors,

The Westview Taskforce will be meeting with RY Management next Tuesday, May 10th to discuss the “Gas Outage” plan, tenants concerns and alternatives. Our goals are to understand the reasons why this is being done and come up with a less intrusive plan.

We will communicate the results of this meeting immediately following the meeting.

As usual, we will post updates on our Website as well as in the billboard in front of the doorman station.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

WVTF
Now, in addition to the lack of Verizon FIOS service and the long awaited elevator renovations, it looks like Westview residents will not be cooking any dinner parties at home in the near future.

27 comments :

SML said...

There should be a rent reduction for the time that there is no gas, of course. A hotplate, no matter how good (and the one management is offering is, of course, the cheapest and most inadequate of its kind) can substitute for a range.

Anonymous said...

I am a bit divided on this. I agree it sucks but without knowing why this prolonged work has to be done we cannot really jump on it and go on the barricades. Let's see what reasons are going to be given. The very short notice indicates that this is an emergency repair in some way.

At least management is going to supply a dual burner hotplate. It's not the end of the world. It kind of sucks that you cannot use the oven, though.

SML said...

The reason is irrelevant. The disruption, if it goes on beyond a few days, is a serious reduction in building services. When you rent an apartment, you have the expectation of being able to cook. That is a major part of home living. We pay for this every month (even though, since it is included in the rent, we don't "see" it.) We are going to be without a vital service that we pay for and need to compensated for that. The loan of a hotplate is insufficient.

Jean M. Shea said...

I am a 29 year resident of WV, it may be due to proposed sub-metering- no one may want to tell the Residents.

This has Never happened in 29 years- EVER...

IH got no such notice.

Also- our Laundry rooms being screwed up with the replacement of our Commercial- Heavy load dryers-as they are powered by Gas..

I say Rent Reduction or better yet- Rent Strike.

Very interesting that WV trying to negotiate with our owner- one of them David Hirchorn- some kind of "deal" and now this... and we have other "owners".

IH's deal may be going forward.

We didn't get much notice- less than two weeks..

They- RY Mgmt. need to call a large Meeting and explain this to all 360 apt. in this complex...

Jean M. Shea

SML said...

I certainly hope that there will be a group effort if management doesn't come forth and do the right on their own. It's far more effective to have all tenants withhold an agreed-upon percentage of their rent than it is for individuals to do so on independently.

Anonymous said...

ONE REASON NEVER TO CO-OP THIS BUILDING.........YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT KIND OF WHITE ELEPHANT YOU GET.

Anonymous said...

I talked to quite a few WV residents and must say that they don't seem to mind the gas outage too much. They all seem to agree that this seems to be an emergency outage and it has to be done.

SML said...

It has to be done, yes. Maintenance of a building is a landlord's responsibility and part of the cost of doing business. So is compensation to the tenants for reduction of a building's services regardless of the reason.

The owners and management know this and are just hoping that WV tenants are docile and sheep-like enough not to challenge their voluntary ignorance.

Anonymous said...

SML, I don't think you are wrong but isn't the fact that management is going to supply you with hot plates enough to claim that there is no service reduction?

SML said...

Do you think a cheap hotplate, similar to those used in dorm rooms to laboriously heat up a can of soup compensates for a kitchen store with four burners and an oven, or two ovens in the case of tenants in WV who still have the original stove.

I don't. I don't think a judge would either.

Anonymous said...

Well, SML, are you going to drum up some attention and hire a lawyer? A lot of words but I wonder if yo are going to speak up and organize something if needed.

S said...

I can't do it myself, but I'm trying to engage others to join me.

jr said...

the rira must do something about this

SML said...

The WV Association has asked for a 4 per cent rent reduction! The negotiation should have started at 20 per cent. Management is "considering."

Anonymous said...

4% sounds fair. 20% is way too much. All you are losing is the oven for baking and two burners. Everything else is still the same.

jr said...

where is ron vass whan you need him

SML said...

Twenty per cent is the normal and expected rent reduction for a loss of services of this magnitude, according to highly regarded Queens-based landlord tenant lawyer -- on the LANDLORD'S SIDE. Four per cent is not serious compensation.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are actively involved in the negotiations with WV management on this. Could you back up your claim that 20% is normal? The magnitude of this service reduction is the loss of two burners and an oven. Who is that highly regarded Queens-based landlord? Could you provide a reference?

Let's do an experiment. How much would it cost you to buy a brand-new electric stove? You can get one from Sears for around $350. With delivery and taxes you'll end up paying arounf $450. A quick look at eBay and Craigslist shows me that you could sell a barely used electric range for at least $200. Subtract the cost of a two burner hot plate (let's say $60) that brings us to $140. Add the value of your time and we'll be at something like $200. What's the average rent of a, say, 2BR apartment? $2000? 2 months of rent, $200 out of pocket cost for you, that comes out to be 5% on a monthly basis.

I don't see how you could justify a 20% reduction.

SML said...

Twenty per cent is the normal and usual figure, as management well knows. Management also knows how naive the tenants are and how vulnerable they feel. Your calculations are beside the point. Obviously, I'm not going to hire a lawyer on my own, since it would cost me more than the rent reduction the court would eventually grant me. This kind of effort has to be collective. I'm just very disappointed that tenants and the WV Taskforce are so willing to give up on their rights as renters.

I'm not giving out the name of the lawyer publicly, because I haven't hired her. (Anyway, she represents landlords not tenants and has the reputation of a real tiger. I certainly wouldn't want management to hire either.)

Anonymous said...

If the majority is okay with 4% that's just how things work. Personally, I do believe that my calculations are a very good justification why 20% is way too much - lawyer or not.

SML said...

What majority? No one was asked. There was no vote, no public meeting. No one was informed. Be prepared for the owners to walk all over us if and when we ever get anywhere in the negotiations for co-oping the building. Negotiations are tough except when one side caves in before the negotiations even begins.

SML said...

An number of posts have disappeared...

The Westview group met with managements and asked for 4 per cent rent reduction, which management is "considering." An e-mail to WVTF brought forth the information that they came up with the 4 per cent figure because that is the percentage that management pays of the rents for gas! Whose side are they on? The rent reduction is for the loss of services to the tenants, and has nothing to do with the cost of the gas to the building.

ROOSEVELT ISLANDER said...

Posts and comments from yesterday (May 13) have been removed by Google because of problem's with the Blogger platform.

This applies to many blogs and not just Roosevelt Islander. Google promises that those posts and comments removed will be back on the blog soon.

I have no control over this and just hope that it does not happen again and that all of the posts and comments will soon return.

Anonymous said...

4% is fair for both sides. That's the amount management pays for gas and that's approximately the economic value or losing two burners and the oven. Anything above that would be ridiculous.

SML said...

You are losing four burners and either one or two ovens, depending on your stove. A hot plate is not equivalent to a gas burner.What management pays for gas is not the issue. The issue is the loss of services to tenants.
Four percent may be satisfactory for someone who doesn't cook, but for the rest of us it is a pathetic joke. I have lived here for 34 years. In the early days, there were often uncalled-for calls for rent strikes. Now, when there is really a reason for one, tenants are just rolling over. Good luck to all of us during the negotiations on privatization. We are bound to get royally screwed with this attitude.

After this is all over, you realize that management will apply for a rent increase on the basis of a "capital improvement," don't you? I'd like to know why this gas problem is suddenly so urgent.

jrinnyc said...

I totally agree with SML, this gas outage thing is outrageous!!!.

I have been in WV for 29 years, we can't cook hardly anything on a hotplate.

Our first one- piece of crap shorted out in like three days-hardly use it...

We are also lost half of our big, gas- powered dryers in both Laundry rooms.

I see lots of my neighbors getting take out- that is more money out of our pockets-some of us...

I believe it is for "Submetering" survey before the Complex may be sold for privitization-no one told us the real reasons for the so-called "gas upgrade and repairs".

This has never happened in 29 years, we do need a good reduction in rent.

To the poster who thinks we can all just go out and buy electric stoves- No we cannot- they-Mgmt. doesn't allow appliances, unless it is theirs.

Alot of us right now cannot afford a new stove on top of rent.

And- no we don't all pay 2K a month in rent- the three bedrooms go for that or a bit more...

We all need to band together in WV- the Task Force is doing nothing on this and not giving info.

We did used to have rent strikes for smaller issues- this is a Big one...

God only knows what is going on with the "privitazation" talks, as no one -NO ONE tells the tenants anything...

The Task Force has secret meetings with the owner, David Hirschorn going on all the time- all the way back to Sept.

They aren't even communicating to each other on the Task Force.

They may have not had enough votes in their joke of an election in January and may be most likely in violation of their own By-Laws adopted in 2006.

We are still a Mitchell Lama building-they are violating alot of ML rules by giving us no info. on the Gas outage- same exact memo as RY Mgmt. wrote after the WFTF met with RY one day before the gas outage.

The same night- a Tuesday-a WVTF meeting was supposed to be held, a Director's meeting-that all tenants can attend and one person shows up!!!

What a mess WV has become...

Tenants must organize and open their mouths- all of them Loudly NOW..

Anonymous said...

Most of you seem to be forgetting that we live in a extremely capitalistic society. If it is legal and can make money that's all that matters. On the other hand you are free to keep your purse shut and not frequent places you don't like. Unfortunately, the rental market is to a certain extend a free market product as well. You can complain and strike as much as you want. The only thing that will matter in the end is the question "Why are you giving them your rent money?" Move away. There are plenty of very nice neighborhoods in NYC that are just as affordable.

You guys have to take on the responsibilities for your own life and well-being.