Low rents can be had … if you’re lucky (and live in NYC)
Apr 2011 19

Rent control is banned from being instituted in any Massachusetts’ town or city, courtesy of a law enacted as a result of a voters’ referendum passed in the mid-1990′s.

However, it, and it’s bigger sister, rent stabilization, still exists in New York City (actually, throughout New York State, wherever enacted by individual cities and towns). There are over 37,000 rent-controlled units in NYC and over 1 million rent-stabilized apartments.

Rent control limits the amount a landlord (owner) can charge a tenant (renter) and how much the rent can increase, each year. Stabilization regulations are somewhat looser. Rent control is what it’s called if a tenant has been living in a property continuously since 1971. Once that person dies/leaves, the apartment is removed from the rolls (unless it’s in a building with fewer than six units) or moves into the rent stabilized pool (if it’s in a big building). (Wikipedia has all the specifics.) Locally-allowed increases are limited by amounts determined by a state-run board. And rent control generally does not exist for buildings put up post-1947.

And, that’s just the short description. In reality, it’s a byzantine puzzle of rules and regulations.

But, that’s not the point of this.

What is the point is that Curbed.com has found two rent stabilized apartments in the West Village where one tenant is paying just $615 per month while another is paying just … wait for it … $128.

Commenters on the blog post were understandably in awe. Some, downright angry.

Point made by one commenter, which seems to be logical and reasonable, is that the property tax on that one unit must be well above the $128 paid by the tenant, each month. (The estimate is $750.) This, of course, does not allow for any amount above that, say for profit, maintenance, insurance.

No one likes paying rent. What people hate more is someone (not them) getting something they don’t.

Above image from the Curbed.com entry, which had this story, originally. The building in question is listed for sale with Massey Knakal.

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