Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Fiefdom


As of August 31 we have been without a lease at our studio. The limited liability corporation that runs the place wants us to move into new studios that are still being constructed on another street at about an 80 percent markup over our current rates (On top of last year's 40% increase). In the meantime, they've "allowed" us to continue staying and paying for our current space. However, we learned today, that as a strong arm tactic, they've decided not to cash our previous month's checks. How did we find out about this? Well, this month's bill showed two month's rent due as well as late payment charges! How despicable are they, while showing us the unfinished new spaces a week ago, do not even tell us that this is what they are doing. In fact, she first called it a miscommunication, to which I replied, no this is discommunication! Then she proceeded to blame me for not checking my bank statements to see that the check had not been deposited. Ahh, how do you woo your tenants!


I could not stand for it and demanded a new bill, but they refused. A new, no-late-charge bill will be issued when I sign a vacate document or sign a new lease. They refuse to cash my check for the prior month. I told them I will sign and vacate because I cannot possibly do business with people like them. All the while the lady smiles and speaks softly, so patronizingly telling me that it is a new era at Industry City where shit like this just doesn't happen.


But it just did. The woman who showed us the new spaces says that I am being hasty, irrational even. And I think not! She says think about what you are doing, asks what will I do with my things! Throw them away, after all what business is it of yours. If you want us to stay on you should not be holding our checks hostage, forcing us to decide without proper preparation or viewing of alternatives. No, this is a pinch you assholes and for better or worse I would rather not deal with you. On departure a dainty hand is extended but I am clammy with disgust and disquiet and offer this last bit of sweat for the shake.


To make matters worse, we have been having difficulty at our apartment but I am advised not to speak of it. Let's just say it is bad enough to make living there unpleasant and no longer a home. This weekend we are traveling north to look into some alternatives, and as risky as they might be I think we may be at our limits in NYC. I didn't think I could ever say that. I hate feeling this way, but NYC has a way of making one feel like they belong to a Feudal lord. 

Two weeks ago, a Sunday, as I sat in our van, I became suddenly aware that all our friends on the block own their own homes and are largely retired. They are now selling these homes, little wooden rowhouses, for a million dollars. The people who are buying have young children and an elephantine down payment. Many people in the neighborhood think I own our building because I garden there. Yes, we've put roots down, and that took years, but the earth we've attached to appears to be eroding right from under us.

4 comments:

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    1. Yeah, we've been having a hell of a year.

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  2. Disgusting. Lease or not, you have rights. This sounds illegal, not just shady.

    The LLC probably does the same with their other properties. Exposure and attention isn't what they want.

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    1. What aggravated me is that they did this two years ago when they expired my lease without offering a new lease but also not explicitly telling me to leave. They continued to bill me and I continued to pay, but they then applied late charges for not paying my increased rent that never was billed! It tool six months and a lawyer to clear the charges. It does appear we have less rights in a commercial setting. And they have manpower. Real Samson type situation.

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