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Attention EastCoast Renters: Big Rockrose is Watching You

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[Photo: Flickr/SMurphy109]

Developer Rockrose, owner of many high-end rental buildings around town, has come up with an ingenious way of dealing with rabble-rousing tenants: kindly asking them to get the heck out. It was only back in November when the Times was celebrating the happy-happy-joy-joy community of Rockrose's EastCoast development on the Long Island City waterfront. Back then, a Rockrose rep joked that landlords usually hate it when residents get together, but Rockrose actually encourages face time. Apparently that applied only to salsa lessons and spin class. At just about the same time, the Times now reports, Rockrose was declining to renew the lease of a couple who had set up a residents-only online forum on which they had logged complaints about their rental building. Was there a mole in the group?

Rockrose admits to monitoring Internet chatter about their buildings and booting around 10 tenants per year for troublemaking, but in this case they claim the hubby half of the couple had an "abusive" history with building employees, a charge denied by the man in question. Landlords of market-rate apartments don't need a reason to refuse a renewal, and that has other members of that Google Groups forum worried about their situation once their leases come up. References to 1984 abound, and one tenant fears that if she pursues her petition to extend the gym's hours past 10 p.m. (residents pay a mandatory $600 annual amenities fee), she'll wind up on the black list. Other Rockrose renters are welcomed to comment?if they dare.
· Tenants Encouraged to Socialize, but Not Criticize [NYT]