Non-Stabilized Tenants Knock Landlord, Get Thrown Out


When conservative-libertarian groups finally get rid of rent stabilization, here’s another benefit you can expect besides market rental rates: getting thrown out of your apartment for criticizing the landlord. David and Kathy Griffiths tell the New York Times they started a Google group for fellow tenants of the EastCoast apartment complex in Long Island City managed by Rockrose. David Griffith had tried to post a complaint about the building’s gym policy — that is, making tenants pay for it before it was open — on the building’s own community website, but the website refused his post. The Griffiths also refused to pay the gym fees. When lease renewal time came, Griffith says a Rockrose employee told him, “Dave, we understand that you’re not happy living here, so we made the decision for you,” and refused him a new lease. A tenant law expert tells the Times that the Griffiths, whose unit was out of stabilization, are therefore out of luck. Rockrose vice president Sofia Estevez responds to a Times enquiry by threatening to “retaliate” against Griffiths, then clams up.

The Times had previously profiled the building, which offers a tenant lounge, dance classes, a pinball machine and other fun features. “It’s like the Lido Deck on the Love Boat,” Estevez told the paper at the time. “Traditionally, she joked, the last thing landlords wanted was to have tenants get together: They might organize!”


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 26, 2009

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