Monday, December 19, 2016

An explanation about the disruption in gas service



You hear enough stories about gas service for cooking being shut off for months at a time around here (examples here and here and here).

The landlord (AJ Clarke RE) provided residents at this East Ninth Street building (Super Eddie's!) with an explanation of what was happening ... with a timeline when things might be back in service... and why it could take so long:

So, with the gas shut off and the risers not passing the pressure test (most buildings in NYC, unless fairly new, will not pass the test), it is going to be probably several months until the cooking gas is turned back on. This is due to the procedure that has to follow: Proposals have to be given for the re-piping, permits have to be applied for, the actual work has to be done, and the most time consuming part of the puzzle: DOB & Con Edison inspections.

The explanation is more than some residents in other buildings receive (silence) ... some residents I've talked to in the past feel as if landlords need to do more for tenants than provide (or pay for) a hot plate. Maybe a little $$$ for some take out.

H/T Steven

Previously on EV Grieve:
How much of a rent discount for not having gas for cooking?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

So people are expected to pay full rent and not have access to gas for cooking? How is this legal? If the landlord is not providing full services, then they shouldn't have to pay any rent until the service is restored.

Anonymous said...

I agree with EVG, one can survive with a hotplate, I did so for 6 years some time ago, but rental laws say a operational oven/stove, refrigerator and sink are mandatory when leasing an apartment. Even the cable company will credit us when service is down a day or two.

Anonymous said...

"...but rental laws say a (sic) operational oven/stove, refrigerator (sic) and sink are mandatory when leasing an apartment"

A hot plate is considered an operational stove.

I can promise you that the city makes it very difficult to make these types of repairs speedy.

But... you know... GREEDY LANDLORDS!!!

Anonymous said...

This happened to us about a month after the big explosion on E. 7th Street. The building was old and small gas leak was discovered by the main coming in from the street. It could have been repaired, but not to code. Since work was being done, the entire system would have to be replaced since it was so old and nothing was up to code. Six months...fortunately not in the winter and our landlord brought in temporary water heaters within 24 hours. But the entire piping had to be redone...breaking through walls, ceilings and floors. That was the easy part...the permits and inspections and sign offs....the best thing I did was to search out the President of Con Ed on Linked In and contacted him directly to see what he could do for a client that had been paying ConEd monthly on time for the last 40 years. It did get results. So my suggestion is, that if things seem to be stalled or lagging because of ConEd....do what I did...and be nice. Flies to honey type of thing.
In the meantime....you have electricity....get a hot plate (be careful), a toaster oven, a microwave and/or a convection oven. Don't forget you live in the middle of one gigantic restaurant, the EV.

Anonymous said...

Same thing just happened in my building. ConEd found a leak in their gas meter, fixed it and then when they came back for the pressure test the building failed and they shut off cooking gas to the building. We have steam heat and landlords gave us this dual hot plate/convection oven monstrosity and then we bought a second more normal sized dual hot plate. The worst part though is they going to be switching out the gas stoves for electric ones. While it is a much quicker process and comes with less permits (only about a month for the whole building) it still sucks because obviously gas is better for cooking and also if another sandy happens, we're screwed. We made it through that hurricane with ease simply because we had gas for cooking.

Mr. East Village said...

Hot plates use electricity which is paid for above and beyond rent. Gas is included. This is not parity. You'd have to get a rent discount or reimbursement for the electricity used as well to make the tenant whole again.

NOTORIOUS said...

I reported a major gas leak in my building last Christmas and we were without gas for about four months, or, as I call it, the time it takes a crew of the gulag's most uncoordinated and unprofessional "contractors" to convert 16 apartments to electric.

Not sure if that really conveys the lack of professionalism and skill. Let's try that again.

A motley crue which randomly punched giant holes in the walls, then yelled into the holes, occasionally filling them with power lines.

At the 2 month point, the management - a nasty woman who answers the phone by immediately screaming and blaming you for the problem you haven't yet had the chance to speak about - gave each apartment a whole $25 allowance to purchase a hotplate. The professional cleaning, days taken off from work only to have workers not show up, and broken glasses were of course not reimbursable.

It was a nightmare, particularly for the parents in the building with small kids to feed via a hot plate. Some of us found comfort in the fact Frau Blücher and her chain gang no longer had access to a deadly gas which they inevitably would have killed us with at some point.

Anonymous said...

Reduction of services should equal a reduction in rent for the duration.

And, as noted, the cost of electric is paid by the tenants, whereas gas is included. So the landlord should be reducing the rent AND reimbursing for extra electricity used (which one could demonstrate by providing the electric bill from the same month a year earlier).

@12:49pm: If "motley crue" is your contractor, of course it took forever. A motley crew might or might not have done better.

NOTORIOUS said...

@1:50 It was in fact Vince Neil and I can't begin to convey how upset I was to see how he let himself go over the years. Also, fuck off twerp. Or is it twirp? I'll leave the grunt work to you...

Anonymous said...

Seems the condition of many New York walk-up buildings is relatively primitive to the rest of the country. The city codes allow for some grandfathering and relic systems to continue if the owner does nothing to them. Old gas lines, steam radiator systems and ancient wiring are problems in a lot of these buildings. Also the windows usually don't close right, the plumbing has problems like constant clogging. Buildings are easily invaded by mice, rats and roaches. It is crazy what we pay for.

Scuba Diva said...

On December 19, 2016 at 11:31 AM Mr. East Village said...

Hot plates use electricity which is paid for above and beyond rent. Gas is included. This is not parity. You'd have to get a rent discount or reimbursement for the electricity used as well to make the tenant whole again.

I don't know about anyone else, but my ConEd bill is for gas and electric. Some buildings may provide gas for free, but I've never heard of any.

Anonymous said...

@3:57pm: I agree with you - these older buildings should be grandfathered in in some way; it's not reasonable to say you have to re-plumb an entire 5-story walkup. I live in a building dating from the 1850's and the cost/disruption to re-pipe the building would probably be a big percentage of the value of the building itself. Also everything you mess with in an old building tends to damage or set off something ELSE that then needs expensive repair.

Neighbor said...

To add another point: It's quite outrageous that the landlord who posted the depicted letter tries to deflect blame for lengthy repairs onto DOB and ConEd, when in fact he could have avoided it all by taking care of maintenance and periodic updates, especially during periods heating seasons.

Anonymous said...

@2:00pm: Point well taken; nothing beats routine maintenance for heading off many of these issues. Of course if you're a scummy landlord, having this happen (esp. in wintertime) is a rather convenient way to perhaps get some tenants to move out.

Sachin Gupta said...

If anyone needs a convenction microwave to tide them over, I'm selling my Cuisinart CMW-200 for $150. (http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/app/5900130817.html)

My gas was shutoff for 2 months this year so I bought this during that time.

starzstylista said...

I had the exact same issue with the exact same company. Do not stand for it. You can get a hefty abatement if you have to live without gas for a year or something. Also, form a tenant's organization and go on rent strike.

Anonymous said...

Scuba Diver is correct: unless it's specifically written otherwise into your rental contract, tenants pay for both cooking gas and electric; landlords are only responsible for heating gas.