Monday, June 4, 2007

Rent increase & green power, part II

I thought I'd give you an update on two prior posts.

the dreaded lease renewal form...

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my shock at finding a $175/month increase to our rent in our
lease renewal form. Our understanding is something shady went on to cause our apartment to become no-longer rent-stabilized (as the older tenants in our building are rent stabilized). The long and short of it is, we're no longer protected by the law which regulates rent increases to normal amounts. If the owners wanted to charge $500/month more, they're completely within their right.

We did call, and asked what the reason was for the super high increase (last year, it was $75). When I asked if there was anything we could do, the managing agent suggested putting our concerns in writing, and so we did. We got their response in the mail at the end of the week.

"The rent is decided by the market rate. We received your letter and understand your concerns. Enclosed is a revised lease renewal form. Your new rent increase will be $125/month."

So that phone call and letter saved us $600/year. If you are in a similar situation, call your landlord and see if there is anything that can be done. Include in your letter any reasons you feel that it is more than you can afford or why the amount is much more than you would have expected. I don't know how often this tactic may work, so you might want to hold on to it until you need it. For us, this was that time.

I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a green planet today

I briefly commented at the end of April about the law of unexpected consequences, and its
significance in our attempts to "green" the planet. Its application here says the good we do now will have consequences later that we might not enjoy.
  1. CF bulbs reduce energy use.
  2. CF bulbs contain mercury.
  3. In a few years, when CFs are inappropriately tossed into the landfills, the mercury will seep into the water supply, and presumable have negative consequences
I was wondering about that majestic, renewable-energy creating, natural-resource using beauty, the wind generator. In a butterfly-effect sort of way, do wind generators were slow down the wind in those areas? Could they be prevent pollen/seeds/etc from being carried where they need to go? It seems that they have caused a stir, and (surprise!) politicians want them turned off. I wonder what type of energy they would prefer we use?

The article
Possible Ban on Wind Energy… Why? [] says this:
[...] The H.R. 2337 bill is camouflaged as an “animal protection” bill which would help save the lives of migratory birds that are killed by wind turbines. Unfortunately, birds are occasionally killed by wind turbines, but the number is so small, it is barely worth mentioning. The fact is, of all bird deaths, only .003% are a result of wind turbines, that’s 3 wind turbine related death out of every 100,000 bird deaths. [...]
Follow the link and read up. I'm sure that there are no animals dying from the toxic crud we're pumping into the atmosphere from oil and coal plants... >sigh<

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