Two years ago, owner Gary Barnett of Extell stopped paying the debt service on the Belnord, a classic Upper West Side building he purchased back in his less rich and powerful days of 1994. When he stopped payments, it appeared Barnett might give up control of the building, a possibility that made the building's tenants unhappy. But fast forward two years, and Barnett is still in place?and some of the tenants are still unhappy. As so many situations are (just today alone), this one's all about rent-regulation, as the Times explains.
In 2006, the tenants of 68 Belnord apartments agreed to give up their rent-regulated status. They got a few things in exchange?namely, their rents remained capped, and they had no obligation to pay capital improvement charges. But giving up rent-regulation meant giving up their right to leave their leases to relatives, and now Jonathan Vincent, the grandson of a regulated renter who agreed to give up his status, is challenging the agreement in court on the grounds that tenants can't just agree to give up rent control. No court has yet sided with Vincent, but he is currently appealing his case.
· A Landmark Building With a Fraught History [NYT]
· The Belnord coverage [Curbed]