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Review of NYC Housing Realities Sobering, of Material Concern

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2017 | Rent Increase |

“[A] worsening crisis.”

That is the cut-to-the-chase description of New York City’s current status quo and evolving destiny regarding rent-stabilized apartments notes a recent media spotlight on that subject matter.

The sobering tone of an article penned in Curbed New York, which relies on the New York Review of Books for its centrally relevant information, strongly implies the need for more regulatory intervention in the housing market.

Broad-based empirical data indicates that the market is, in fact, being unduly manipulated by high numbers of bad-faith landlords engaging in “despicable practices … against tenants for their own financial gain.”

No reasonable New Yorker would, of course, argue that city landlords should eschew profit as a motive for their industry involvement. A wealth of relevant statistics readily reveals, though, that many landlords seem solely focused on removing tenants by taking premises out of stabilized status and re-renting them at markedly higher prices.

The result is a shifting housing picture. Reportedly, more than 170,000 rent-stabilized units in NYC have disappeared within the past decade.

And the motivation spurring landlords’ greed seems clear enough: It is estimated that a destabilized building can presently sell for as much as 40 times the amount it brings in within a year from checks handed over by rent-stabilized tenants.
City landlords often argue that tenants’ housing costs are not disproportionately high.

Rent-to-income-ratio data indicates otherwise, showing that New Yorkers on average (with limited exclusions cited in the aforementioned article) paid close to two-thirds of their total income on rent last year. Two years ago, the national average for income expended on rent was about 30 percent.

Tactics engaged in by landlords to oust rent-stabilized individuals and families are many and diverse, as noted in many of our prior blog posts at Himmelstein McConnell Gribben & Joseph LLP. Renters with questions or concerns regarding any aspect of troublesome landlord practices might reasonably want to contact a proven tenants’ rights attorney without delay. 

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