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Landlord and Gas Meter upgrade to Smart Meter

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Landlord and Gas Meter upgrade to Smart Meter

Postby brooklynstabilized » Thu May 17, 2018 11:10 am

Hi Guys,

So National Grid came to my apartment to install a Smart meter on their Gas meter which is in my apartment. The Gas Meter was not moved, or altered. The tech simply put a piece of plastic over the existing Gas Meters window. My Landlord was looking at their cameras, and emailed me and a few other Tenants saying it was illegally done, and it needs to be removed because it causes Cancer. They also sent me some website that's not even a legitimate website about the "dangers" of Smart meters. They also said we'd have to pay the removal fee of $105.00. What are your thoughts on this? We pay for our own gas, and National Grid owns the Gas Meter. I was told by National Grid that he can't tell us to take it off because he doesn't own it, and nothing in the apartment that he owns was altered. They also said it doesn't cause Cancer at all. This guy has been harassing us since we formed a Tenant Association, and filed complaints to the City to get him to make repairs in our apartments. What should I do about this Landlord? Thanks.
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Re: Landlord and Gas Meter upgrade to Smart Meter

Postby TenantNet » Thu May 17, 2018 11:44 am

You've posted in the rent regulated area, so we assume you're RS.

What cameras does the LL have? Inside your apartment? (that would be illegal)

We have no opinion if the smart meters create any health hazard. Some still say that cell phones cause cancer. We don't know about that, but I think National Grid (your version of Con Edison) has a legal right to add this device.

Can they force a tenant to allow the device to be added to a meter inside your apartment? I don't know ... but as it's a billing issue and not a supply or safety issue, we think probably not. The NYS Public Service Commission might have an opinion on this. So might the Utility Project at http://utilityproject.org

As for the LL's demand that you remove the device, we don't think he can do that, and certainly he can't charge you any fee (did he say who would get the fee - himself or some agent with whom he has ties?).

In RS units LLs can't charge any fees that are in addition to rent unless a) ordered by DHCR - like a MCI, or b) part of a state or city law - like the charge for smoke detectors.

More over, the meter is property of National Grid and the LL has no standing in our opinion to force anything to do with the meter.

So a) as to removal of the device, I think that's between you and National Grid, b) payment of any fee to remove the device, I would not even consider that. No matter what the LL says or threatens, it's not his call. Some LLs will drop the issue if you push back, or better yet, just ignore them.
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Re: Landlord and Gas Meter upgrade to Smart Meter

Postby brooklynstabilized » Thu May 17, 2018 12:23 pm

Thanks for the prompt response. Yeah National Grid is the Gas company. Not Con Edison. That's a separate meter in the basement for Electric. He has cameras in his hallways. My Tenant Association attorney just emailed me back, and told me not to pay anything to him, and if he insist to let him know and he'll mail the Landlord a letter. This Landlord is just basically looking to harass us, and make our lives miserable because he had to pay A LOT of money to make repairs he should have made years ago. He's still holding a grudge, and is looking for ways to try to get rid of us since we're rent stabilized. Thanks again for your response and time.
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