My name is Shane Desautels, my partner and I have been tenants of the Flamingo for over 6 years. When we signed our lease and continued to renew our lease, we were told about all the services and amenities offered at the Flamingo by the leasing agent. We signed a lease knowing what was included in our rental agreement and what to expect. We recently signed a new 2 year lease and we were even willing to sign a more long term lease because we saw the Flamingo as a long term home. In September of 2011 we had a very long and detailed conversation with the leasing agent, Gini Galligani, about our plans to stay at the Flamingo because of the quality of services this building offered. She assured us before signing a 2 year lease that these were services and amenities included in our rental agreement.
These services included a 24 hour door attendant, 24 hour maintenance, management office hours from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Sunday, and the ability to pay our rent on site with a debit card with no charge. [continued below]....
..... We were also told that by signing a 2 year lease we would receive a free cruise ship vacation or an equal cash reward, which also never happened. These amenities and services were also advertized in the Flamingo Brochure, written in the Flamingo Resident Guide and in the Flamingo Orientation Letter that came with our lease. Furthermore, they were advertized on the Flamingo website as well as other websites (www.apartments.com , www.rent.com , www.forrent.com , www.move.com) In order to convince us to renew our lease, The Flamingo leasing agent, Gini Galligani, said and did everything to make us believe that these amenities and
services were part of our rental agreement.
Now, just a few months later, many of these services are being taking away or changed in such a way that they are no longer the quality of service they once were when we originally signed our lease. I do not believe that there is any way that Gini Galligani did not know that this building was being sold and that there would or could be changes in amenities and services. This information, which would have directly affected our decision to live in this building, should have been disclosed to us before we renewed our lease. In my opinion this is fraud.
All these amenities were promised as a part of our rental agreement and were written in the Tenants/ Resident Guide when we signed our lease. Without these promised amenities it directly affects the quality of services that have been provided as part of our rental agreements and would greatly reduce the value of living in an apartment in this building. I have already sent a 14 day notice, dated December 10, 2011, informing TLC that we will deduct 250 dollars from our January rent because of the decreased value of living in an apartment in this building without these amenities that were promised.
Recently as more amenities begin to be removed and/or changed I sent a second letter informing TLC that beginning February 1, 2012 we would deduct 300 dollars a month from our rent based on the decreased value of living in an apartment in this building with these changes in amenities and services that are a violation of our rental agreement.
I want to specifically say that we were not fooled by the recent TLC notice saying that a 24 hour door attendant has been restored. This simply is not true. The door attendant must be returned to the same location in order to have the same level of security that we have had in the past. The door attendant was in the area where guest first come into the building in order to professionally greet our guests, call us and announce our guest and create a welcoming atmosphere. Having the door attendant at the first door created a safe and secure way to ensure that strangers or unwelcomed guest would not be allowed into the building. This is the high level of security we were promised and that was in place before TLC took over. The buzzer system must be removed and the 24 hour door attendant must be restored. Our guest should not have to shout through the door to try and say who they are here to visit. Visitors should not be buzzed into the lobby before the attendant knows who they are and if they are an expected and wanted guest. On several occasions our guest as well as strangers we have seen at the entrance, have been buzzed into the building before the attendant knows who they are or where they are going. Without the door attendant in the original location our security and safety continues to be compromised. Furthermore, before TLC made these changes our guest were also able to wait comfortably in the lobby where there was a nice sitting area. This area is no longer accessible. It is being blocked off by the so called door attendant and a desk filled with junk and cluttered with packages.
While we have recognized that maintenance are now once again on call 24 hours a day and can respond at any time, we have also clearly noticed that the building grounds have become a trash dump. In the past maintenance would spend each day cleaning the grounds around the building. For the past several days we have seen papers, cups, bottles and other trash
lying around the building grounds and even in the front of the building. We have also noticed that the hallways throughout the building and the laundry room are also not being properly and regularly cleaned. The fact that you have cut the maintenance staff and have cut their hours has led to this building slowly looking like a trash dump.
It has also come to our attention that TLC will now allow dogs into this building. If I see a dog in this building I plan to immediately call the police and I will have a copy of my renters guide to prove that they are not allowed in the building. The renters guide specifically says that dogs are not allowed in this building. This was another thing that we were promised when we rented an apartment here. We did not want to be in a building with dogs and it was made clear to us and promised to us in our signing of a lease that dogs were not allowed. This is a very clear violation
of my lease and I also consider it to be a threat to my health and safety.
We originally moved into the Flamingo Building, and continued to renew our lease over the past several years, because of the amenities and services that were included in our rental agreement. We would not have signed a new lease if the management had disclosed that these services would no longer be provided and/or these services would be changed in such a way as to decrease the value of living in this building. Therefore, we will continue to deduct 300 dollars from our monthly rent each month until these amenities and services are fully and properly restored. This deduction in rent reflects the decreased value of living in an apartment in this building. If our lease is no longer honored by TLC and services continue to be changed and/or removed we will continue to deduct money from our rent to reflect the decreased value of this building with these changes. We also reserve the right to terminate our lease at anytime with a 30 day notice.
I would also like to say that on more than 2 occasions I have attempted to resolve this issue with Pamela Andrus of TLC Management, unfortunately she has never responded.
Here at the flamingo I have started a group called, The Flamingo Tenants Rights Organization.www.flamingotenantsrightsorg.weebly.com We have had three meetings with more than 55 people in attendance. We also have affidavits from over 30 of these tenants and an affidavit from Elizabeth Figueroa, former Flamingo Operations Manager and Leasing Agent. These affidavits are sworn statements to the fact that the above mentioned amenities and services were a part of our rental agreements. On January 10th we will have our next meeting with representation from Alderwomen Leslie Hairstons office, Attorney Paul Bernstein, the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing and the Hyde Park Herald Newspaper.
Desautels, The Flamingo Apartment 1110