Many Stuy Town tenants are getting hit with big rent increases in the middle of their leases. Even after years of litigation, shell-shocked tenants will have to pay as much as $1,100 more per month-with as little as two weeks notice.
“I’m horrified,” said Kristen Farver, 38, who was among about 1,290 tenants who had rent increase notices slipped under their doors in May.
Farver was told she’ll have to pay $700 more a month for the two-bedroom apartment she shares with her husband and two children. “It’s unfair,” she said. “You can’t tell people with children they have two weeks to come up with this kind of money.”
Tenants who can’t pay the new rent starting June 1 were told they’ll have 60 days to get out.
The hikes arise from a legal battle that has been raging for years at the 11,200-unit complex.
The tenants initially scored a legal coup in 2009 when the state’s highest court upheld a tenant lawsuit charging that thousands of apartments had been illegally removed from rent stabilization protections. A temporary agreement at the time forced then-owner Tishman Speyer to slash rents.
But when a permanent settlement was reached in November, the new owners of the property, a group of bond holders controlled by CWCapital, were granted permission to raise rents in almost 4,000 units at Stuyvesant Town and nearby Peter Cooper Village.
For many tenants, especially those who moved in after the 2009 agreement lowering rents took effect, the jump came as a shock.
“It is simply unfair and disrespectful and we are tired of people treating this community like an ATM,” said City Councilman Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan), a Peter Cooper resident who is planning a protest against the hike with tenants. “Make no mistake about it. These increases are eviction notices.”
CWCapital spokesman Brian Moriarty said the owners are acting according to the terms of a deal reached “for the benefit of the current and former impacted tenants” and “approved by the plaintiffs and the court.”
The company wouldn’t comment on whether it plans to raise rents at more of the eligible apartments.
Author: Erin Durkin, New York Daily News