We take a break from our scheduled program to offer a public service announcement for all potential Resident Cast Members:
For anyone considering renting an apartment at 350 East 52nd Street, please note the following:
The landlord, William Koeppel is renting rent stabilized units at market rate prices but will have you sign a rider to protect himself from being sued. There is a current class action lawsuit against William Koeppel for charging market rents while claiming the J-51 tax abatement for rent stabilized units.
Once your lease is up, you can expect a rent increase in excess of $3,000!
Yes, you read that correctly. Residents with a $4,200 lease for 2 bedroom apartment in the building recently received a lease renewal for $7,281.00.
That’s a 73% increase!!
(I don’t know about you, but if I were ever in a position to pay over $7,000.00 a month in rent, I would not want to see roaches all over the laundry room, I would expect the building to have a real number sign at the entrance, doormen without criminal records, UPS delivery, visitor announcements, garbage removal, a fresh paint job, maybe a gym . . . I’m just saying . . .)
Other recent actual renewal leases for studio apartments:
1 bedroom: rented at $3,000 with a promise of no increase until 2014, first year actual renewal lease arrived for $5,400.
$2,100 current rent; renewal offered for $3,056.55
$5,000 current rent; renewal offered for $7,750
$2,850 current rent; renewal offered for $3,751.60
$1,900 current rent; renewal offered for $3,116.81
$2,025 current rent; renewal offered for $2,418
$2,100 current rent; renewal offered for $2,500
There is an Application For A Rent Reduction Based On Decreased Building-wide Services against William Koeppel for a gross reduction in services which include but are not limited to, the following: (edited from actual complaint – read entire complaint here)
Unattended Lobby: the Association has documented times and dates for failure to provide a full-time doorman.
Unauthorized Access: guests are granted access without buzzing and on one occasion a female tenant came home to her ex –boyfriend who was sitting on her couch. Not only was access granted but the spare key was given to the guest – TWICE!
Employee Screening: failed to conduct background checks on any of the employees working at the Building (resulting in criminals working here who were arrested while on duty) Workers have verified that they are not screened and are being paid “off the books” and have access and control of the Building.
Garbage: We have always received daily pickup and now at best the garbage is picked up once a week. Merely piling the garbage up on the side of the building to be picked up at your leisure in unacceptable and is clearly a bona fide decrease in Services.
Bed Bugs: The Association has evidence that Assured Environments Pest Control screened for bedbugs in Apt. 7C, which came back positive for bedbug skins. According to the Building’s former manager, and other reliable sources, two other apartments, including 2D, currently occupied by Tom Martini, have also had bedbugs. To add insult to injury you have the nerve and audacity to tell me and others, when questioned about the bedbug situation, that you “didn’t owe anybody proof” that the situation had been adequately addressed. You then told me “don’t let the bedbugs bite”. Not only is this false but you are REQUIRED BY LAW TO NOTIFY THE TENANTS
Mice: The Association has proof, namely the former building manager (see Tom Martini, as well as several current and former Tenant’s, regarding the serious rodent problem at the Building. Two (2) tenants have recently broken their lease and there are numerous other complaints of mice throughout individual apartments as well as the common areas of the Building.
Roaches: There have been numerous complaints of roaches and other Vermin, caused by the Garbage (see #2 above). See photo attached as Exhibit B
Maggotts: As evidenced by this video the garbage is a health hazard when it sits long enough to grow maggots http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eisWJLIT_K0
Fed Ex and UPS Deliveries: Our “Luxury Building” no longer receives UPS deliveries (as their union will not cross the picket line)
Doorman Service: In addition to the lack of security provided by the Doormen (see #1 above) the Association has also experienced a drastic decrease in typical doorman service we expect as a “luxury building”. They include, but are not limited to the following:
i. Helping with packages and groceries
ii. Holding the door open
iii. Unattended front desk
iv. Doormen on phone & busy texting
v. Daily, doormen mis-mark deliveries & give to the wrong tenants
vi. Missing Packages
Awning: The awning serves to protect tenants from the elements and its removal is a decrease in Building Services
Harassment: On November 30, 2011 you (William Koeppel) attempted to illegally evict the recently fired manager of the Building, (Apt. 2D), twice. The 17th precinct realized that he cannot be removed except through court action. On November 30, 2011 you LIED to Brooklyn detectives working on President Obama’s detail, that there was a squatter posing a threat in the Building, despite the fact that earlier that same day the local precinct had already advised you that court action was your only means of recourse.
During the second attempt to have Tom arrested, a tenant was approached by Brian Rexroat, an executive with “Modern Staffing” (the replacement firm you retained that had employed Tom Martini), and said to tenant “you look like a dick sucker”. (One of many harassment incidents)
Security Deposit Confiscation: Former tenants have made it clear that you (William Koeppel) regularly keep security deposits after tenants leave (over-stating damage to the apartment or giving no reason what so ever).
Failure to Pay Interest on Security Deposit: I am sure that you (William Koeppel) are aware that Tenant’ssecurity deposit is subject to the terms of General Obligations Law § 7-103, Accordingly, please also allow this letter to act as formal request for you to provide each and every Tenant with a breakdown of interest earned from the date in which their respective Lease was signed through the end of the 2011 calendar year, along with a check for any interest earned on their security.
Chain Lock: Landlords of multiple dwellings in New York City must also install a chain-door guard on the entrance door to each apartment so as to permit partial opening of the door. (Multiple Dwelling Law Sec. 51-a, 51-c; NYC Admin. Code Sec. D26-20.05) This is even more important in light of the security risk causes by the lack of Services.
Cell Masts/Towers/Base Units: You (WIlliam Koeppel) have entered into agreements with cell phone providers that lease space for 28 cell masts as the Building.
Heat: You (William Koeppel) have failed to provide heat in accordance with Multiple Dwelling Law § 79; Mul tiple Residence Law § 173; NYC Admin. Code § 27-2029,
Broker Fees: You (William Koeppel) have been illegally requiring Tenants to pay a broker fee to your wife (Jean Koeppel), despite the fact that she is NEVER involved with any of the lease negotiations nor has she assisted in obtaining the apartment. As you are aware, the broker must assist the Tenant in finding and obtaining an apartment before a commission may be charged. In addition, under the Rent Stabilization Code, a broker’s commission may be considered “rent” in excess of legal rent when there is too close of a business or financial connection between the broker and the landlord. 9 NYCRR § 2525.1.
and if that isn’t enough to make you think twice about residing at 350 East 52nd Street, here is the list of complaints presented to the 17th precinct at a community board meeting addressing additional incidents:
Multiple unauthorized entrants
Unattended lobby (too many times to count)
Apartment keys given out without authorization
on many occasions
Multiple Sleeping Doormen
Physical altercations in lobby endangering tenants
& resulting in arrests
Disconnected phone line from lobby to resident apartments, granting
no access in an emergency (or to announce a guest!)
Doormen using weapons
Convicted criminals running the building
No chain locks as required by law
Vandalism – rugs slashed, gate removed
Theft of tenant security deposits
Illegal broker fees collected
Un-addressed bedbug, rodent and
Hazardous storage of garbage
Dangerous looking men allowed
access to building premises in the
middle of the night to haul garbage
No UPS delivery or other union services
Opened tenant packages
Missing tenant packages
Doormen urinating in waste paper basket
Extreme foul language in front of and TO tenants
Staffing Agency Owner, Jim Rexroat, is dangerous, threatening & sports multiple criminal records including theft, writing worthless checks, exposure of sexual organ, indecent exposure, lewd and lascivious behavior and failing to remit taxes!
[Note that Jim Rexroat owns the SECURITY company that places the temporary staff at 350 East 52nd Street.]
If you are considering a move to 350, please take a good look around this site so that you don’t find yourself in an unexpected bad situation. Please know that although you may find our reality show humorous, the incidents are all real and often dangerous.