August 23rd, 2013
Q. I am a rent-stabilized tenant in a Manhattan condominium building. I have had a storage spot for my bicycle for 25 years — since before the building went condo. The board of managers has now taken away the storage spots for all of the two dozen rent-stabilized tenants in the building. Do we have any recourse?
A. Yes, because a rent-stabilized tenant’s rights remain largely unaffected when a building is converted to a condominium, said an associate at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. a Manhattan real estate law firm. “If the bicycle rack was included as part of the tenant’s original services,” ALB, P.C. said, “then it must continue to be provided, regardless of the form of ownership of the building.” She said that the best course of action for the writer and the other affected rent-stabilized tenants in the building would be to file a “Reduction of Services Complaint” with the state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The agency can then order the owner of each affected apartment to roll back the rent to the amount charged before the last increase — until the service is restored. If the condominium board never restores the service, the rent freeze remains in place.