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turn-off of electricity service notice

Posted by chelsea on June 16, 2001 at 16:52:30:

A turn-off of service notice has been sent by ConEd to a residential building in Clinton (10 units, rent-regulated). It says the building owner owes $430 in past due bills and $5,900 for a deposit, and that if it isn't paid by June 26, service for lights in the hallways and the intercom will be cut off.

One of the tenants called ConEd and was told that the owner, a major developer and property owner, hadn't paid in a long time, and that the past due amount was in fact a lot more than $430. (She wouldn't say how much or how long it was unpaid.) The notice was just sent so the tenants could know what was going on and that their service might be cut off, she said. She said the tenants needed to get the landlord to pay the bill. If that didn't work, she suggested that the tenants might want to withhold rent and pay the electricity bill themselves.

One problem is that the building's rent-stabilized tenants -- there are four stabilized, six controlled -- are already not paying rent, because of rent overcharges and lack of certificate of occupancy. (they won, but the owner has not registered rents, offered renewals or obtained a c of o.) The tenants will be consulting their lawyer and ConEd again, but would anyone here have any thoughts? If the tenants paid the bill, how would they recover the money?

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