“Able to balance our interests when dealing with situations that we present them with.”
A: My name is Don Cornet.
Q: What do you do for a Living, Don?
A: I work in television production.
Q: How did you come to know ALB PC?
A: A friend of mine’s brother is in real estate and 10 years ago I had a question about my rent-stabilized lease and he pointed me in your direction.
Q: What issue led you to seek legal help from ALB PC?
A: In this case it’s been kind of a longer history that I’ve had with you. It was 10 years ago, my rent-stabilized lease. The landlord tried to not renew my lease. I have spoken to Dov previously. I was aware of my rights and how it works. Because I figured that they would eventually try something like this. Of the Eight tenants, Six of them had been in litigation with the landlord for the same type of thing.
Q: So you had a new landlord that tried to evict you?
A: Possibly a new landlord. I got a note under my door and it said the building is under this other entity. Send a check here. I researched online if the building was for sale, and there was a new management company. They gave me notice of non-renewal
Q: How long were you living there?
A: 18 years.
Q: And the apartment is important to you?
A: Very important. It’s my home.
Q: Why do you think the new landlord tried to evict you?
A: I think that they were testing the waters. This had happened previously when the building was first sold to a larger entity; which knew all of us and cared about the tenants. He sold the building to a management company. The first thing they did was tell everyone we were not rent-stabilized… Tell everyone that they had to leave. They stopped paying the electric bill. They stopped taking out the garbage. The lights got turned off in the hallway and that was their introduction to us as tenants. Then, they subsequently tried to evict a lot of the other tenants‑ not me. They also underwent a year-long renovation of the hallway. The gas got turned off and we lived without hot water for a month. We had no working stoves for a year. They needed access to my apartment on average three times a month— immediate access. And that was their means of dealing with the tenants. So we knew whom we were dealing with.
Q: They claimed that this was not your primary residence. In reality it was.
A: Yes, it was and is.
Q: How did ALB PC help you prove that?
A: In speaking with Dov years previously, I knew what I needed. I knew what kind of records would establish my residency as far as keeping account of where I sleep every night. Sometimes I’m not in my apartment. Also I have credit card receipts, I have ATM receipts. Because of my conversations with the people here, when this action came I was not surprised and I was as prepared as I could be. That preparation made it easier for the whole thing to be resolved. All I needed was to live in my apartment and be left alone. I understand the landlord’s position but there are tenants that have been there 16-18 years. They can’t just kick them out. I understand the profit motive. We all suffered as tenants— lack of services. My understanding was that the landlord was trying to kick someone out and see if it works.
Q: What kind of records were you keeping?
A: My calendar. I made a point of using my credit card and debit card to pay my bills.
Q: The landlord installed security cameras?
A: Yes, around the hallway. They knew I was living there and in fact that the tapes would prove that I live there. That was the tactic we used on this. In reality it was contrary to what they claimed.
Q: So the cameras proved our case?
A: Well, there were a variety of them. Their response was to renew my lease.
Q: You received a notice of termination on August 27, correct?
Q: And what was included in the letter?
A: I have to check my record, the Notice was dated August 27, but I didn’t receive it up until 2 weeks later. And I had an appointment with your office and I raised my concern and then it took three four weeks and they send me the renewal letter.
Q: In the letter it claims that the letter is frivolous and their attorney called within a week of receiving the letter. Why do you think that happened so fast?
A: Maybe they realized we were prepared. And I met with Dov and based on the proof that I had calendared my personal calendar and my working schedule more than 183 days in my apartment. And we said we would show you the evidence. They got the proof of our side of it. Our tactic helped to hasten it. All I wanted is for my lease to be renewed as it should be.
Q: Were you happy with the customer service?
A: Yes, very responsive, resolved the issue relatively quickly, two weeks, efficient.
Q: The case was handled in a professional matter?
Q: What do you think ALB PC strongest attribute is?
A: Results. I was very well prepared for this which was inevitable and for the least amount of cost. I hope that in the future the landlord won’t be attempting to do this because ALB showed that I had a right to stay in this apartment.
Q: Would you hire us again?
A: I will hire you again if it comes up. We will see what happens in few years further down the road. Hopefully all is resolved quickly. I will pick you again if I have to.
Q: Would you recommend us to other tenants?
A: Absolutely, and I have already.