Stuy Town tenants warn rent settlement not likely in 2010

By David Jones | December 15, 2010 03:16PM

Tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village allowed a year-long freeze on their landmark class-action lawsuit regarding rent overcharges to expire today, but warned that a settlement was not likely before the end of the year, which could lead to a resumption of the case.

“While we remain hopeful a settlement can be reached before the end of the year and without need for further litigation, we are not optimistic,” Wolf Haldenstein attorney Alexander Schmidt, who represents thousands of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper tenants, said in a statement.

Tenants have been negotiating the case for a year after winning at least $200 million in a lawsuit against former landlord Tishman Speyer, which acquired the complex for a record $5.6 billion and was found to have charged excessive rents. The negotiations have centered on the exact amount of compensation for tenants, how future rents would be determined and whether tenants would be able to move forward with a possible cooperative conversion that would allow tenants to buy their individual apartments.

The complex went into foreclosure in October and was taken over by special loan servicing firm CW Capital Asset Management.

Tenants whose leases expire before April 15, 2011, will not see their rents increased beyond the rate set under an interim agreement, according to Schmidt, but it remains unclear how tenants will be impacted if their leases extend beyond that date.

Schmidt told The Real Deal that he would not be able to comment beyond the written statement. A spokesperson for CW Capital was not immediately available for comment.