Posted by Emma on December 19, 2001 at 19:30:10:
Here is an interesting situation. I and my family have lived for over 25 years in a rent-stabilized five floor walk up tenament building in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. The building is well into 100 years old. Never in all our years living here have we had major problems with the building management except this week. There are many modest income families within this building, families that have been here well before we moved in. Most of us therefore pay low rent and in our neighborhood competing with new apartments running upward to $2,000+ in our area our rent payments are more than ideal. We've raised our families here and love our neighborhood. Two days ago I came home and found bolted into the building's front facade were two hideous huge billboard screens, screens that you would find at the movie theater or phone booth. We were never notified as we always are of any changes within in the building. I spoke with the super of the building who denies ever knowing this was going to happen and furthermore hear from him that the management itself is denying knowledge of it. Today I came home to find that ads were placed inside, one a liquor ad. I am extremely offended and the other tenents have expressed likewise anger but we all afraid of speaking up. I no longer feel comfortable coming home. By paying rent and living here I feel I am being forced to publicly endorse these ad products to which I feel strongely against. When has anyone seen public ads on apartment buildings?? I find it ironic also that they have recently been stepping up repairs that have been ignored for years. I feel as if this is a ploy by the landlord to boot us out to clear space for higher rentals. Has anyone ever seen this happen before? It is clearly a personal violation of our space and homes even if we do rent. And even if our personal sense of comfort has no legal merit there is the issue of where the money received from posting these ads go if not the building but into the landlords pockets. Either way, don't we have any rights in this situation?? Is this legal??
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