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Re: Lost PAR unfairly, need to file Article 78! Help!

Posted by brenda on June 07, 2000 at 15:49:36:

In Reply to: Lost PAR unfairly, need to file Article 78! Help! posted by Elizabeth, Manhattan on June 07, 2000 at 09:13:54:

: I am the tenant represenative of 2 buildings that were hit with an MCI increase (plus a steep retroactive increase) for elevators (identical size in both buildings) that are smaller, slower, and not wheelchair accesible, unlike the original elevators. We believe this is a reduction in service, not an improvement. Senator Tom Duane's office went to bat for us, showing that there were never any permits (Department of Buildings) issued for the elevators, plus discrepancies in check amounts submitted for the work done. I found unresolved violations on both buildings, active during the last 6 months the MCI increase has been collected, also the landlords illegal attempts to collect the retroactive increase while the PAR was being determined. The DHCR refusal of our PAR ignored all of the above! The upshot is, we need a tenant activist lawyer fast, as I plan to file an Article 78. I have all my paperwork, and Freedom of Information Act files from DHCR on our case, along with Department of Buildings records. Please give me any tips, and names of local lawyers, on how to proceed.
: Thanks.

Seems you have matters very well covered. Just one suggestion, based on the experience myself and other tenants had with tenant lawyers--be sure to interview more than one! Get a tenant lawyer experienced with article 78s with whom you have a good rapport. We had a well-known tenant lawyer who turned out to be a sanctimonious a-hole whom we fired. We have done very well on our own. So don't be swayed by articles in journals, op-ed pieces in the times, membership in organizations, etc. How do you relate to him or her? That is paramount. How are you going to split the legal bills? What if some members of your group welch on the bills? You have to think of things like this in advance.
If it is a large firm, find out who will handle your case-- it may not be the partner who interviewed you -- and how much you will be billed if it is handled by associates.
You might want to check legal websites for tenant lawyers who have successfully pursued Article 78s on MCIs.
Above all, don't do it yourself! For Art. 78s you MUST have a lawyer.
Best of luck!

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