RentStuff.com Wants to Become the 'eBay Meets Facebook' of the NYC Rental Market

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Just one of the items you might rent on RentStuff.com.
Most New Yorkers are pretty O.K. about renting things, at least when it comes to our living spaces. As for those living spaces, we're pretty resigned to them being on the small side -- so small that we might have to rent additional storage space for, say, our skis or summer wardrobes or collection of whatever it is we happen to collect. But would you prefer to just rent that stuff in the first place? RentStuff.com, founded by 29-year-old twin brothers Chris and Robert Jaeger, thinks you would. Chris Jaeger describes the site as "a eBay for rentals, or an enhanced Craigslist for the rental marketplace." There's a social component, too, a/k/a, "eBay meets Facebook for the rental market."

Jaeger lived in New York City for 6 years and says the idea for the site came from his own frustrations about living in the city, in a small apartment shared with four roommates. He says, "I'm an avid outdoorsman, and I wanted to rent equipment for a mountain bike trip. The process of finding a bike was one of more frustrating experiences I've had -- I had to leave work early on a Friday, go across the city to get it, and then I had to do the same to get it back. I realized that the bike I wanted was probably in my own building, and if I could just connect with people in my community, this would all be so much easier."

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De Blasio Report: Uptown Has the Worst Landlords

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According to NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's Worst Landlords Watch List, Manhattan's worst-run buildings are mostly in Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. Forty five of the 56 Manhattan buildings on the list are in those areas. Four of the lowest performing five are in Harlem and one is in Washington Heights. Each of those has over 240 violations. The top five worst landlords are:

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Most Expensive NYC Rental Costs $165,000 a Month, is in Plaza Hotel

That right there is the most expensive rental in New York, clocking in at a staggering $165,000 a month. The Astor Suite went on the market today and has three bedrooms, five bathrooms, a dining room, a library and an eat-in kitchen.

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Cooper Union Says No to Lowering St. Mark's Bookshop's Rent

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St. Mark's Bookshop and the surrounding community have been campaigning for landlord Cooper Union to lower the store's rent from $20,000 to $15,000 a month. The Cooper Square Committee yesterday delivered to Cooper Union a petition that accrued nearly 44,000 signatures, but it wasn't enough: the bookshop's rent will not be lowered.

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The Fate of St. Mark's Bookshop Could Be Decided Today [Update]

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St. Mark's Bookshop has fallen on hard times lately, inspiring a local campaign to pressure landlord Cooper Union to lower the rent from $20,000/month to a more manageable $15,000. Otherwise, the store might have to close.

According to a letter from the Cooper Square Committee, today is the day that Cooper Union's board will decide whether or not to lower the rent -- essentially deciding the fate of the bookshop.

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Rent Too Damn High for St. Mark's Bookshop; East Village Institution Might Have to Close

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Local institution St. Mark's Bookshop is in danger of closing, and the Cooper Square Committee, a neighborhood group, has started a petition to try to save the independent bookstore. Rising rents and decreasing revenue have put the bookshop's future in jeopardy as the owners attempt to negotiate with their landlord, Cooper Union.

St. Mark's Bookshop moved to its current location at the ground floor of the Cooper Union residence building on Third Avenue and 9th Street around 18 years ago. Co-owner Bob Contant says that Cooper Union offered a 20 percent reduction on the rent in order to entice the bookshop to be its commercial tenant (the store was originally located around the corner on St. Mark's Place). This has come back to haunt St. Mark's Bookshop recently, as a little over two years ago Cooper Union raised the store's rent to $20,000 a month.

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It's a Tiny Bit Easier to Rent an Apartment in New York City These Days

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According to a new report from Citi Habitats, your chances of finding and renting an apartment in the city, always a tremendous pain unless you are very, very lucky, or very, very rich, have gone up a bit. That is to say, it's not quite so difficult because the vacancy rate has increased...to 1 percent. This, though it may not sound like much, is actually the highest vacancy rate in 6 months, and, Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, says, a correction to "brutal" conditions earlier this summer. Rents for studios and one bedrooms went up slightly, while rents on larger places went down a bit.

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Netflix Shares Fall 10 Percent After Planning to Cut The Sorcerer's Apprentice From Streaming Service

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Nic Cage as Balthazar Blake
Shares of movie rental giant Netflix fell 10% before the market opened on Friday. Share prices plunged $23.90 to $209.37 after news that customers would no longer be able to stream the Nic Cage fantasy adventure The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The film, in which Cage plays thousand-year-old sorcerer Balthazar Blake, was a Walt Disney production. Starz Entertainment owns pay-cable rights to movies from Walt Disney Studios and they pulled out of a deal with Netflix to extend those rights to stream a multitude of films, most notably The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

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Faye Dunaway Is Being Sued by Her New York Landlord Over Her Rent-Stabilized Apartment

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Shockingly, Faye Dunaway is facing eviction in Manhattan housing court. More shockingly, Faye Dunaway pays $1048.72 a month for her rent-stabilized 1-bedroom walkup on East 78th. Slightly less shockingly, Dunaway may not actually inhabit the apartment, but instead lives in California, per a lawsuit filed by her landlord yesterday. Her son Liam Dunaway O'Neill is a subtenant in the apartment, and has acknowledged on Twitter that he also lives in California. But according to rent-stabilization rules, Dunaway would need to inhabit 78th Street as a primary residence -- though the New York Times does point out that she's not living particularly glamorously in either abode, despite once inhabiting a far more fancy apartment at the Eldorado.

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Michael Greif, Director, and Angela Wendt, Costume Designer, Revisit Rent

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Joan Marcus
Since 1996, the musical Rent has entered the musical theater pantheon, won a Pulitzer, and been praised, parodied, and panned (when it made its way to the screen). Now, three years after the show closed its Broadway run after 12 years in 2008, a revival is in previews at New World Stages off-Broadway, and is set to open August 11.

Surely, you know the story. Rent is the work of rising talent Jonathan Larson, who died suddenly just before its off-Broadway opening; the show is about a group of friends in the East Village, many of whom suffer from HIV/AIDS.

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