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Old 01-19-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Dallas via NYC via Austin via Chicago
988 posts, read 3,004,274 times
Reputation: 443

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Hello,

We moved into a brand new building in October and haven't received any utility bills until December. The first bill was fine however, we found that our January gas bill was $250.00, electric was $100. We live in a 1000 sq foot apartment but that is ridiculous. We are also frugal and never use much gas and electric.

Since my building has a bulletin board, I posted a question to the other tenants and asked if they were having the exact same issues; pretty much everyone has excessive bills. Various tenants called con-ed and they came out to re-do an actual reading and the readings were accurate for the most part.

So, myself and a few other neighbors met and discussed the issues. Most of us have air coming in through our balcony doors, windowns, walls, and our HVAC units(huge units that heat and cool, dually gas and electric). Do not seem efficient. Also, the hallways are a good 20 degrees colder than average than our apartments and cold air is coming through the walls. So basically, we're surrounded by non-insulated walls and our utility bills are super high due to shoddy construction. Management said that they'll get an engineer to look at the building and find ways to warm the hallways but we think its b/s. Also, management has been a little shady because they started censoring the topics on the bulletin boards.

Question, what recourse do we have? We are all signed to 1-2 year leases, and the leases states that the building must provide heat however, it was vague in saying if for free. Also, we are starting a petition and will write a formal letter to the Owner. We really like the building and don't want to stir up the pot or complain to HPD yet, but if this isn't addressed, then we'll get the word out which can hurt future leasing. Also, we don't want an angry owner to try to screw us.
Has anyone been in this situation before? How should we confront the situation? We just want this resolved, we don't want to escalate this. Also, the same owner is building another building down the street and we're sure that the same construction methods would be used.

Sorry for the long post, thanks.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:02 PM
 
267 posts, read 967,399 times
Reputation: 136
Is your heat included in the rent? $100 for electricity seems high for winter.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Dallas via NYC via Austin via Chicago
988 posts, read 3,004,274 times
Reputation: 443
No, heat isn't included. Our HVAC units are electric for the compressor, fans, and controls and there is a gas line feeding into it for heat. So.
$100 for electric alone
$250 for gas alone which is mostly used to run the inefficient HVAC units, we have 4 total(1 per room). Also, the shoddy construction doesn't help.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:52 AM
 
979 posts, read 4,210,313 times
Reputation: 516
You don't really have a case here. If all permits for construction were pulled and final inspection was made then the construction was not "shoddy". You can check on line if there is a legal C of O. If that doesn't exist then it's definitely worth digging deeper. What's to like about a building that in your opinion is poorly built?
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Dallas via NYC via Austin via Chicago
988 posts, read 3,004,274 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by modsquad81 View Post
You don't really have a case here. If all permits for construction were pulled and final inspection was made then the construction was not "shoddy". You can check on line if there is a legal C of O. If that doesn't exist then it's definitely worth digging deeper. What's to like about a building that in your opinion is poorly built?
Actually, one of the other tenants is a construction contractor and tested a few walls and found that their was no insulation which is baffling. He found quite a few other issues too. My hardware floors are starting to come up, after only 3 months. Also, a few of us have themometers and definitely noticed the temperature differences. The building was completed in mid 2009 but the C of O was granted in August 2010 which seems weird. I wondered if the Owner "buttered" some palms in the DOB. I know we don't have much of a case but they could at least help with insulating our apts and heating the hallways.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: No Sleep Til Brooklyn
1,410 posts, read 4,999,767 times
Reputation: 610
Move.

Best case scenario, the LL agrees to insulate, etc. and you end up living in a construction zone. Worst case, nothing happens and you get fleeced for utilities.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Dallas via NYC via Austin via Chicago
988 posts, read 3,004,274 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpsonDowns View Post
Move.

Best case scenario, the LL agrees to insulate, etc. and you end up living in a construction zone. Worst case, nothing happens and you get fleeced for utilities.
I wish, our lease isn't up until October. I feel sorry for the tenants who signed 2 year leases.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:39 PM
 
Location: East Village
755 posts, read 2,158,397 times
Reputation: 300
If you're having to pay for your heat, I don't know if that bill is all that outrageous.

My apartment in Dallas, where I did pay for heat, was about 600 sq. ft., and my January and February bills were always around $200. Just sayin'.

I think maybe you should have clarified who was to pay for heat before you moved it.
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, New York
3,715 posts, read 6,516,949 times
Reputation: 3704
If you pay your own heat, and the heaters are electric powered, that doesn't sound too high. I used gas for cooking only and it was $35 a month. My electric in the winter - one bedroom, was about 60 -70, 130 in summer. Have you asked people in other buildings with gas heat?
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
9,015 posts, read 22,161,746 times
Reputation: 7240
What about your hot water ? If you are also paying for that on your electric bill it can be as much as heat.

Everything built during the boom is total crap.I lived in Williamsburg for most of the last decade and there were buildings going up on almost every block and we used to laugh at how shoddy the work being done was.And we laughed at the fools coming in and paying 1/2 M for a sleep in closet of an apartment.Friends who are still there tell me that all of those buildings have nothing but problems with water leaks,window leaks,floors buckling,no sound insulation,wiring problems,etc,etc,etc.Things were put together with staple guns and hot glue guns,no sound or weather insulation and the cheapest of everything. I'd get out ASAP and consider it a lesson learned.

Don't buy or rent anything in any of the buildings put up between 2000 and 2010.They are all going to need major reconstruction before they are 20 years old.
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