Thursday, August 7, 2014

Landlord tells residents of 149 First Ave. that they need to vacate ahead of demolition



There's a lot of drama unfolding at 149 First Ave. just north of East Ninth Street.

All tenants (and all rent stabilized) received the following letter from the landlord this week — a "notice of non-renewal and vacate request."



"We have been advised by our engineer that the building has serious deterioration issues and has to be rebuilt and most probably demolished.

"As a matter of safety, we have to vacate all the apartments in the building."

And it doesn't matter how long the tenant has left on his or her lease — "please do not take longer than 90 days to leave. Thank you."

There's nothing on file with the DOB about either a gut renovation or probable demolition. The most serious recent infraction appears to be that the landlord failed to file an annual boiler inspection report for 2012.

It appears that tenants aren't ready to pack their bags. They are already organizing, as this notice on the front door shows.



Meanwhile, if the building is truly going to be gut renovated/condemned/demolished, etc., then the landlord likely not need bother trying to fill the vacated storefront, still on the market for $9,500 rent per month since This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef closed in March.

Updated 2:31
Now with an updated flyer showing the correct date for the meeting with tenants.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the same landlord that owns 207 second ave (Momofuku Ssam and the recently renovated apartments above).

Doesn't seem like the tenants organization meeting is getting off on the right foot - can't even get the date straight in their flyer.

Anonymous said...

That's a lovely old building that doesn't deserve to be demolished and replaced with one of those characterless big box buildings we see sprouting all over the LES. Really, landlords have crossed the decency line. They should get a real job, instead of pimping off people.

VH McKenzie said...

Please tell me this can't be legal, or that this letter could even be considered proper legal notice?

And if it has "serious deterioration issues" why isn't the DOB involved, issuing orders to vacate?

This sounds like a hack, amateur move - scare tactics as the first step, with more to follow. Wishing them all good luck!

Anonymous said...

If this is a Landlord scam to clear a building of rent stabilized tenants instead of a legitimate public safety issue warranting the vacate order a heavy price by the city needs to leveled against this landlord including criminal action if statutes allow. Since this is not a city notice to vacate by DOB or NYFD it is dubious on face. When these vacate orders are properly issued the public needs to move quickly to follow suit not be second guessing if this is a ruse or not by greedy Landlord lining his or her pockets public safety and confidence is at stake here

Anonymous said...

This is pure BS.

8:41 a.m. said...

Echoes of 172 Stanton Street

What he meant when he said...

I'm truly sorry to tell you that we will not be renewing your lease.
I truly couldn't care less, but my lawyer suggested "sorry."

We have been advised by our engineer that the building has serious deterioration issues and has to be rebuilt and most probably demolished.
Ramy Isaac can only plop two penthouse floors on top, I want 5. Down it comes!

As a matter of safety, we have to vacate all the apartments in the building.
And by "we" I mean "you."

The building will not be habitable during the construction phase.
Not that it's habitable now! (A little landlord humor, get it?)

Please do not take longer than 90 days to leave.
Please do not take longer than 30 days to leave.

Thank you.
Fuck off.

nygrump said...

Name names. Its time to put all these slime bags by name and their home addresses out for people to know so they can't hide in their long island estates.

Giovanni said...

If the building was too unsafe to occupy, the Dept. of Buildings would have posted vacate orders all over it and moved people out. If there are rent stabilized tenants then the landlord is required to offer a lease renewal unless he plans to occupy it himself or demolish the building. If he plans to demolish the building then DHCR has a process where the tenants are notified by the city and hearings are held. Unless the tenants have received an RA-54 from DHCR then there is no approved plan for demolition. The order can be appealed which also freezes any evictions. The owner must also pay relocation expenses and stipends to each tenant if the plan is approved.

Know your rights. See:

http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac11.htm

Anonymous said...

I lived in this building back in the 90s in a one room apartment with a tiny bathroom and my apartment--again, it was really just a room--was full of mice and roaches. It wasn't even a true studio. It was that small. All of the apartments are tiny like that so the landlord probably wants to tear it all down and build decent sized one bedrooms, etc. that are more rentable. What he is doing doesn't sound anywhere near legal. Wouldn't the city have slapped a notice on the front door if the building had to be torn down due to structural issues?

Anonymous said...

It's a scam! Sue your landlord before he can sue you.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

These tenants should contact the pro bono attorneys at the Urban Justice Center (646) 602-5600 if they don't already have legal representation.

Anonymous said...

The tenants should contact GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side)
http://www.goles.org/

bowboy said...

There's also

http://www.mfy.org/get-help/

http://metcouncilonhousing.org/help_and_answers/finding_a_lawyer

Anonymous said...

Wish J.A. Lobbia was here again.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they thought that would work! after all the decades of dealing with landlord harassment tenants are saavy!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful buildng! Get it landmarked before the owner can tear it up, then the heat is off of the tenants.

Anonymous said...

I thought they had to put you up in another similar apartment if they did this ?

alberto caputo said...

Put the rent in scrow to renovate and fuck this guy, that note is not legally binding, he just want you guys out.

exyallie said...

Wow... This is the first place I ever lived in NYC back in the early 1970s... Paid like $78 a month and I thought it was just "awesome". No lock on the front door, junkies in the hallway, and just the right distance to get to the Cauldron and the Paradox for dinner. (And the St. Marks Baths afterwards.) Anyone willing to invite me in just to see the place? Nostalgia is a complicated thing, but milestones are important in our lives.

Sam Himmelstein said...

Completely illegal and likely harassment. They need to organize, as they appear to be doing, and retain counsel. My firm, a tenants only landlord-tenant law firm handles many of these cases. www.hmgdjlaw.com.

Ian James said...

Nice try, Lee!

Gojira said...

Pool some money and hire their own structural engineer to inspect the building. It's not that big, so it wouldn't cost that much. Then sue the landlord to recoup the costs when they can prove in court that he was lying and harassing them.

Unknown said...

I'm betting if legitimate engineers were hired they'd find huge issues with half of the buildings in the LES, so this could backfire on the tenants.

Face it, most of this was built in 1907 and like most in New York never kept up or renovated. As my first office landlord loved to say "IF I MADE THIS PLACE ANY NIC-UH YOU COULDN'T EFF-OHD IT!"

At the same time, I smell a poorly set up scheme by the landlord to kick people out of the building. For shame. :(