Friday, November 16, 2012

UPDATED: Protest at MySpaceNYC Saturday at 1pm

The Crown Heights Assembly will be leading a demonstration at MySpaceNYC on Saturday to protest the displacement of longtime residents and the overcharging of current tenants. More details coming soon.

UPDATED: See below for the complete press release from the Crown Heights Assembly.

Saturday: Crown Heights Rallies for Tenant Justice at MySpace Realty

Long-Term & New Residents Unite to Demand Rent History Disclosure,
Building Repairs, An End to Displacement
Contact  Nick Petrie                   914-589-8921       

Friday, November 16, 2012 – On Saturday, November 17th at 1pm, a coalition of long-term residents and new residents of Crown Heights will rally at the offices of MySpaceNYC, a real estate brokerage that profits from the displacement of long-term Black and Latino tenants and the overcharging of new tenants.  The rally, organized by a community power group called the Crown Heights Assembly, marks the beginning of a new alliance of Crown Heights residents demanding that the machinery of displacement be dismantled in our neighborhood, one brokerage at a time.

Onikah Evans is a lifelong resident of 1045 Union Street, a building acquired by ZT Realty this year; some units in 1045 Union are brokered by MySpaceNYC.  Evans said, “Right now, they’re trying to take the keys and move people out without giving them anything.  Now they’re trying to start the heat, but the heat is not hot.  It’s not coming through the radiator, it’s a false claim of heat.  They’re not doing repairs in the building.  No repairs.  Before we, used to see workers in the building everyday.  Now, we don’t see workers in the building at all.  Right now, my kitchen sink hasn’t been working for three days.  We called the office, and no maintenance.”
Nick Petrie, a tenant on St. Johns and a Crown Heights Assembly member, said, “I was shown an apartment by a MySpaceNYC Agent who adamantly promised that my landlord was responsive and responsible. The original asking price for my unit, a 2 bedroom in a rent-stabilized building, was $1900 a month. Far outside my budget, the MySpaceNYC Agent agreed to ‘bargain-down’ the price on my behalf to $1800.”

Petrie continued, “MySpaceNYC's lies became clear after living in my apartment for a few weeks. My bedroom ceiling has become deluged with water and collapsed four times. There are rats in my walls. For weeks our heat was inoperable and we had inconsistent hot water. When I asked my landlord, Elcorno Martin, to fix these problems, he first ignored me, then yelled and me and shouted profanities at me. When I told him he was legally required to give me heat and hot water after October 1st, he shouted me out of his office saying, ‘What law says that? I don't have to do that!’”
Petrie concluded, “After checking my rental history from DHCR it is clear that I am being overcharged by Martin with MySpaceNYC's aid.  The last legal rent for my unit was $1250 while I pay $1800. MySpaceNYC is profiting from the displacement and harassment of long-term residents and the illegal overcharging of new residents. As a new resident of Crown Heights, I know that I am facing different challenges from long-term residents being pushed out of their homes. I write this to be clear that we must work together to push back against the landlords and brokerage firms making money off us all.”

On Saturday, this alliance will announce, “Crown Heights isn’t MySpace; it’s our space. We will demand:

Show Us The Real Rent We call on MySpaceNYC to sign a legally binding agreement that requires the firm to show all prospective tenants the legal rental history of the apartment when they see the place.  This will prevent the illegal rent overcharges now epidemic on the Franklin Avenue corridor and spreading beyond that area.  MySpace must require landlords provide official DHCR rental histories to prospective tenants as a material condition of working with the brokerage.
Meet All Tenant Demands: Stop The Displacement & Fix The BuildingsMySpaceNYC has the power to force all of its landlords meet tenant demands as a material condition of working with the brokerage.  These tenant demands include: stop illegal evictions of long-term residents, stop refusing services and repairs, and end tenant harassment.  We demand that MySpaceNYC sign a legally binding agreement requiring its landlords meet with tenants to immediately remediate building-level and apartment-level demands.


  1. I am one of the people that got totally screwed by asshole MYPACE and I had the fortune of telling one of their minions off. He acted completely flabbergasted but i saw in his eyes and his lack of retaliation that he knew he was a scumbag and sucked. JB you suck and you know this!

  2. The same displacement happened in the East Village, the LES, Park Slope, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and now in CHN. NYC is becoming really expensive and many people need housing. Lots of people prefer CHN to other areas...I would not fault MY SPACE for this trend. What about Corcoran, Brown Harris Stevens and others who are making the housing prices so expensive, that landlords must up their rents to cover mortgage and other costs ? Also, if tenants are not obtaining services, then that is between the landlord and tenant - MY SPACE has nothing to do with that. By a quick read of this "press release" I think these are just a bunch of disgruntled renters. When I first moved to the City, if I didnt like my pad, I moved eventually. Even smarter - I should have saved a long time ago to get the FHA loan to put a 3% down payment on a house. Maybe you guys should put your energy and cash together and do that - then you will not find yourself at the mercy of the rents other people can legally charge...

  3. Replies
    1. Where you that guy at the roof party who never actually approached me, just yelled from across the room when you were drunk. That comment above wasn't me. I quit doing real estate a year ago.

    2. Yes that was not JB. That comment was from me - a homeowner of some years in CHN.

  4. It is unreasonable to expect one realty firm to only charge HCR rents, when few other firms are doing so.

    I.E. Why would landlords list their property with a firm that would not bring in the maximum amount?

    Want to make a difference? Strengthen HCR and HPD. Give them the power they need to take on REBNY, and enforce the laws that are already on the books.

    A law with no enforcement, or random enforcement, is barely a law at all....

  5. I agree with MikeF. This sounds ridiculous. I am a home owner and last I checked we, the home owners, are responsible for the tenants and their units. not the realtor. while you're at it protest the entire avenue's merchants since you guys are on this silly rampage. get a grip quickly.

    sounds like some serious hating is going on!

  6. welcome to America, where capitism reigns supreme, as always the market dictates the price, believe it or not Brooklyn Heights was a slum at one point, things change, adapt or fall by the wayside

  7. these guys seem cool don't understand what the problem is. argue with the landlords. don't hate the player hate the game! i heard some franklin ave merchant started all these problems with the realtors. how about we investigate who this person in? ha!

  8. oh please NO rent stabilized or controlled, or section 8, or NYHCA , or SCRIE, or IMD, or any number of programs tenants get evicted UNLESS they do not pay the rent.

    and yes landlords are allowed to raise the rent. Everything costs money, especially the partner known as the city of New York that taxes buildings to the hilt, plus heat, repairs,tickets, tenants who skip out, insurance, employees.....go buy a place and see.

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  10. That is why you need insurance. I had such troubles in the past too, when I was a tenant. But now I am in this business and work for Renters insurance company in Little Compton RI and can proudly say that you will not have these issues with us.