Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Way to Find Rent-Controlled Apartments in Manhattan: Follow the Obituaries

Jessica Hagy.


At 7/15/2010 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How else would rent controlled apartments find their way to the market?

Here are some of the rules governing rent controlled apartments in NYC:

"The rent control program generally applies to residential buildings constructed before February 1947 in municipalities that have not declared an end to the postwar rental housing emergency. A total of 51 municipalities have rent control, including New York City...

"For an apartment to be under rent control, the tenant (or their lawful successor such as a family member, spouse, or adult lifetime partner) must have been living in that apartment continuously since before July 1, 1971. When a rent controlled apartment becomes vacant, it either becomes rent stabilized, or, if it is in a building with fewer than six units, it is generally removed from regulation...

"An apartment in a one- or two-family house must have a tenant in continuous occupancy since April 1, 1953 in order to be subject to rent control. Once it is vacated after that date, it is no longer subject to regulation. Previously controlled apartments may have been decontrolled on various other grounds..."

So, the stock of rent controlled apartments is continually decreasing. There are now about 50,000 rent controlled units in NYC. And when the tenant dies, the unit typically becomes rent stablized instead. Basically, rent controlled apartments become available the same way rooms in nursing homes do: the old person living in them dies. So? What would you expect, for old people living in relatively cheap apartment to move out for no reason?

For it to be otherwise, rent control would have to apply to new construction, which it doesn't.

At 7/15/2010 8:45 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Thanks for that information. It really then says that today 53 years after the last building became rent controlled the effect on the market is very small. It appears if the date is correct that 53 years worth of construction is not covered. One does wonder about the ability to pass to a family member, it probably should just be spouse or significant other, no kids getting the apartment.

At 7/15/2010 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on ruddy's remarks, it sounds as though the controlled rent may have paid for itself by keeping older folks out of nursing homes.


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