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Avalon Riverview North - "non-compliance fee"

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Avalon Riverview North - "non-compliance fee"

Postby lictenant » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:15 pm


All residents in _________ building received the following notice. I received mine today (6/30/2013) - it was taped to the outside of my door.

It reads as follows.

"We are excited to announce that we will be offering Verizon Fios in the near future. However in order for that to happen, we will begin start up installation in all apartments. This work will entail drilling a 5/8" hole cut from the hallway into the entry closet to your front door and installing a network box on the interior closet wall or ceiling to house the Fios equipment. We ask that you please clear out all personal belongings from the closet to avoid damage and dirt getting on your belongings. The work should take less than 1 hour and it will be noisy when they are performing the actual drilling to run the cables through. If you have a pet, please secure you pet during this time.

Your apartment is scheduled for Friday, July 5th, 2013. Work will commence from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be a security guard accompanying Verizon at all times while the work is being performed in your apartment. In the event that your closet is not cleared on the day of installation, there will be a fee of $200 assessed for non-compliance. Due to the scope and volume of apartments, we unfortunately can not take appointments for the installation work."

My questions are:

(1) I received the notice 5 (five) days before Friday July 5th. Under NYC law I know that a landlord has to give one week's advance notice when entering for non-emergency maintenance and upgrades. Can we deny them entry on this basis?

(2) There are no terms in the lease agreement stating that they can charge a fee for any arbitrary non-compliance. Is this legal? Should we not in fact be charging *them* a fee for the service of cleaning out our closets so they can make repairs?

The closet in question is packed full of items and it would be a considerable inconvenience to clear it out. I think it would take at least 3-4 hours total to move everything out and back in again.

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Postby TenantNet » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:34 pm

First, please DO NOT put your personal info on a public internet forum. It's dangerous to you and against our forum policy. We removed the identity of your building.

Second, since you are not rent regulated, your rights are defined by your lease (mostly).

Does your building have a central cable provision for phone, internet and cable? What does your lease say about that? Are tenants able to pick their own phone company, their own cable company and internet provider? What service(s) do you have now?

In most places, Verizon would place the FIOS (or DSL) equipment in the hall and finish the installation when a tenant signed up for the service. In my building, for example, there are boxes for Time Warner, RCN and FIOS. I don't think a landlord can force you to take a particular provider ... unless it's in your lease.

And what about people that do not have land line phones, do not want cable TV and get the internet on their smartphone?

As for access, you can demand an appointment when you will be there (although it is unheard of for a LL to provide a security guard). This is not a repair and not maintenance. Again, unless it's in your lease, you should be able to choose your carriers. And yes, it's one week.

If it's not in your lease, the LL can't add additional charges. I would not make a huge fuss about cleaning the closet, depending on the size of the closet and how much stuff you have in there (you could probably remove just enough, not the entire contents of the closet). But I would make a fuss about the access, the fee and their forcing you to accept a particular carrier.
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