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POLL: New York City’s Rent Stabilization Laws

Unfair or necessary?

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Count challenging New York City’s rent stabilization laws.

The case was brought by an Upper West Side couple who rent out six apartments in their five-story brownstone on West 76th Street near Central Park. Three of the apartments are rent stabilized, and for those, the tenants pay about $1,000 a month, 60 percent below market rate, according to the New York Times.

The couple argued that forcing them to accept below-market rents is an unconstitutional taking of their property, while state and city officials countered the regulations as necessary to prevent “rent profiteering” due to the city’s chronic housing shortage, according to the Times.

New York City’s rent regulations, which state lawmakers extended last year, apply to nearly half of its approximately 2.2 million rental apartments. The case does not directly apply to the city’s older rent control law, which applies to far fewer units, according to the Times.

Those against rent regulations often cite cases of affluent tenants paying below-market rents, while proponents argue that the majority of such apartments serve low- and middle-income people, the Times reported.

So what do you think? Should the city get rid of its rent stabilization laws?  

Scott Kochman April 25, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I'm sure they had no objection to buying the property at a lower price, knowing that there were rent stablized tenants living there. If they did have an objection, they overcame it and bought the property anyway. SURPRISE!
NYmargie April 26, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Scott: I agree! But I think due to high cost overhead on the building, and people who say they are underpriveldged should be closer looked into by the city. There are many tenants that live in these apartments who are very well off and should go as such elsewhere (Cindy Lauper). But that does not mean that the apartment rent status would change unless they move and landlord put more into the apartment to raise the rent and/or decontrol status. Other than that, landlord has to shuck it up.
Matthew in BK April 28, 2012 at 01:54 PM
The burden of the rent stabilization laws falls disproportionately on small landlords who own buildings with fewer than fifteen apartments, the large corporate landlords use their operation of rent stabilized apartments to squeeze favors out of politicians and to bribe politicians (remember Charlie Rangels four stabilized apartments?). There are much more effective ways of ensuring housing costs remain affordable. For example, expanding section 8, encouraging (even subsidizing) home ownership, and establishing a regulatory environment that encourages private investment in low and middle cost rental housing. The current patchwork of real estate laws in this city only serves those who can afford luxury condos, coops and rentals, the developers of luxury condos, coops and rentals and the politicians who gerrymander the council, assembly, state senate and congressional districts to ensure that they keep getting elected. Those same politicians keep conning us that the only way to keep housing affordable is their way.
Thomas Economides June 17, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I think the laws need to change, people living in stabilized apartments for years making six figure salaries, living in 2000 sq ft apartments for 900 bucks a month is sickening.... thomas economides, ny
Matthew in BK June 17, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I think that the rent for stabilised apartments should be the lower of market rent and 30% of household adjusted gross income. There is some scope for disputing what the market rate is for a particular apartment is, but there are plenty of real estate appraisers in this city that can tell us what a particular apartment is worth per month given its location, amenities and condition. The 30% is what NYCHA charges its tenants. I also think that a tenant should not qualify for a rent stabilised apartment if they own residential property in the Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Catherine Jhung September 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Several years ago, Bloomberg allowed owners of rent-stabilized apartments to bump the rents up to their legal maximum at one time on a renewal lease. $2200 per month in rent - what a bargain!

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