Are you sick and tired of people complaining about the crippling rents they pay? And the fact that said rents will only become more crippling in the future and most likely not be accompanied by commensurate pay raises? Downers, right? You should go hang out in the Financial District, where no one is even bothering to file some paperwork that would make their market rate apartments rent stabilized, reports The Wall Street Journal. Read More
Who wants to move in August? No one even wants to be in the muggy cesspool of the city, let alone between two separate apartments. Indeed, August rental reports reflect the general malaise one is apt to feel when clutching a box damp with sweat at the bottom of a five floor walk-up. Or maybe Manhattan is now obeying the schedules of the Hamptons as the middle class flees?
Manhattan vacancy rates remained relatively flat in August. At 1.19 percent, they are basically unchanged from the 1.2 percent vacancy rate of July and slightly up from August 2011, when they were at just one percent, according to a report from Citi Habitats. Cause for celebration? Read More
Watching the Manhattan rental market is like watching Saw. It’s fascinating and terrible and nauseating all at the same time.
Well, get ready torture porn fans, because the second quarter market rental reports are here. Our protagonist has just stepped into a car with a stranger to find that the inside door handle has been removed from the passenger side. Let the carnage begin! Read More
Guess what? The rental market is even more crazy expensive than it was before.
Rents increased across all apartment categories, the vacancy rate dropped and concessions were just about impossible to come by last month, according to Citi Habitats monthly rental market report. Given that March was already a month of record-setting highs, and that the rental market often heats up as spring shifts into summer, it’s not a great time to be apartment hunting in the city.
It’s going to be a rough summer for renters, especially since the rush of college grads should be starting any minute now. Read More
Every year, for the past 41 years, the nine members of the Rent Guidelines Board have gathered to reach a secretive consensus that sets the annual rent increases on rent-regulated apartments at somewhere around 3 percent, a move that without fail earns the ire of tenants and property owners alike.
It is unlikely that the Rent Guidelines Board harbors any illusions about its popularity at this point, but this year looks to bring unprecedented animosity. It’s only April and insults are flying, months before the board inevitably makes its rage-inducing decision.
“We need to move away from the days of a kangaroo court,” shouted City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who took to the steps of City Hall Monday morning to call for reforms to the hated board. “Regardless of the data… the rents go up!” Read More
That’s pretty much the full story at this point. “The court has not granted or denied that case yet,” a Supreme Court public information officer just informed The Observer. Such announcements are made every Monday, and so New York will be on the edge of its rent-regulated seats for another seven days. Check back then to see if landlords citywide will finally have their day in court. The Supreme Court has until June to decide whether or not it will hear the case—a waiting game worse than the TKTS booth.
Forget sweet nothings and exclusive party invitations. The two words most New Yorkers long to hear are “rent controlled.” But like so many (impossible?) dreams, this, too, may soon be dead.
The Supreme Court could decide today whether or not to hear a case brought by former federal prosecutor James D. Harmon Jr., the owner of a five-story townhouse on West 76th Street. Mr. Harmon, who grew up in the brownstone and now lives there with his wife Jeanne, inherited the building and its three rent-controlled tenants from his grandfather. He argues that New York City’s rent laws violate the Constitution by taking his property without just compensation.
The three tenants with rent control pay approximately $1,000 a month for one-bedroom apartments, about 59 percent below market rate, according to court documents. Three other tenants in the building pay market rents.
“For 50 years my family has been subsidizing the lifestyles of tenants,” Mr. Harmon, who is 68, told the Observer on Friday. He and his wife were both getting older, Mr. Harmon said, and cannot afford to do it anymore. “If there is a problem here, then society as a whole should bear the burden.” Read More
Even with a Supreme Court battle looming in the background, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg didn’t hesitate to sign a City Council bill extending New York’s Rent Stabilization Law through April 2015.
“In order to extend the Rent Stabilization Law, the City must determine that a housing emergency exists to merit the need for rent stabilization,” Bloomberg said in a release about the bill’s passage, citing the city’s vacancy rate of 3.12 percent to declare the requisite emergency. Read More
Rent control might be running out by the decade’s end, but some rent-controlled tenants gladly pay their double digit rent and plan to pass it on to future generations, much to their landlords (and lawyers’) dismay.
Consider the case of two elders in Soho–Thomas Lombardi and Robert Cohen—who have been paying $55.01 and $71.23, respectively, for their apartments, according to the Post. Read More
The National Low Income Housing Coalition published their “Out of Reach 2012: America’s Forgotten Housing Crisis” report this week. The report, in short, calculates the required hourly wages (at 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year) to sustain a two bedroom apartment. The report surveyed hundreds of counties, metropolitian areas, and cities across the United States, and then our buen vecino Puerto Rico.
Keep in mind that the report also stipulated that an affordable two bedroom apartment is 30 percent of your monthly income. Here are some interesting breakdowns (in hourly wages at 2080 hours a year). Read More