Stuy Town Tenants Get to Keep Lowered Rents Until At Least June
Eliot Brown Feb. 3, 2010, 6:27 p.m.
Stuyvesant Town tenants will keep their newly adjusted (and stabilized) rents until at least June. The tenants on a class-action lawsuit and the complex’s manager, Tishman Speyer, announced that the current rents for formerly market-rate tenants would be extended through June. The rents had been adjusted in the wake of a court decision that ruled conversions to market-rate apartments were illegal, reducing the rents of many apartments as values were calculated as if the apartments had not left rent regulation. The agreement was set to expire after February rents.
Many tenants will also see a refund on market rents paid in November and December, with Tishman Speyer refunding the difference between the market rents and the stabilized rents.
The announcement comes as the two sides are trying to negotiate a settlement in the class-action lawsuit. The state’s top court issued a major decision in November, opening the door for millions in refunds to market-rate tenants (the tenants have said they believe they’re eligible to received $200 million back).
June, of course, could be after Tishman Speyer is gone from the scene, as the firm has decided to surrender the property to creditors. In addition to having led a team to buy the property, the firm has acted as the property’s manager.
Here’s the full statement, issued by the tenants’ lawyers and Tishman Speyer:
Representatives of the current owners of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village and counsel for the plaintiffs, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP and Bernstein Liebhard LLP, agreed today to extend the interim agreement they reached last December to adjust rents in each apartment affected by the recent Court of Appeals decision in the Roberts litigation. Under the extended agreement, affected tenants will continue to pay the lower of either their lease rent or an estimated rent-stabilized rent through the month of June 2010. Each affected tenant will also continue to be afforded certain rights as if pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law, including renewal and succession rights.
In addition, the amounts that were deposited into the escrow account in connection with tenants’ payments of their November and December 2009 rents will be fully reimbursed to the tenants, either by way of a corresponding reduction of current tenants’ March 2010 rent bills or a refund check issued to former tenants who moved after paying their November and/or December rents. Finally, the owners have stipulated to permit the lawsuit to proceed as a class action. The parties expect that over the next few months the rents for the approximately 4,400 affected apartments will be calculated as if pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law by an independent consultant, who has been selected but not yet formally retained.