Rents Are Really Out of Control, No, Seriously: Comptroller's Report

Thumbnail image for RentBoardProtest1.jpg
Yet more confirmation that rents are out of control comes in a new report from city Comptroller John Liu, which notes that 30 percent of New Yorkers are spending more than half their income on rent. Half of New Yorkers are paying "unaffordable rents," defined by the feds as 30 percent or more of income.

Meanwhile, Liu claims that the Bloomberg administration's "affordable housing" plan only delivered one-third of the number of units for middle-income earners that was promised. He says the middle class feels this burden far more than lower-income folks.

The city's median income of just over $50,000 a year has remained basically unchanged since 2000, but the median rent skyrocketed by about 25 percent from $853 a month to $1,004. And the situation is substantially worse here than in the rest of the country.

More »

Sunset Park Rent Strikers Pack Brooklyn Court

SunsetParkRentStrike01.jpg
Sunset Park residents fighting the slumlord who owns their buildings sang "We Shall Overcome" outside court in Brooklyn this morning.
Sunset Park residents engaged in a protracted rent strike packed into a Brooklyn courtroom this morning to find out the fate of their three apartment buildings.

The rent strike actually began more than two years ago, when Sara Lopez and other tenants of three buildings, 553, 545, and 557 46th Street began organizing against their landlord, Orazio Petito. Tenants have stepped up their campaign in the past month, and with the help of members of Occupy Sunset Park have begun to draw media attention to their plight.

Residents say they're furious over the neglect of the buildings, which are infested with mold and vermin, frequently go without heat in the winter and without any electricity in the summer. Department of Buildings records for the three buildings list dozens of violations, many of them severe, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

More »

The (Manhattan) Rent is (Seriously) Too Damn High

EmpireState.jpg
Ah, the Manhattan real estate market. That one barrier holding you back from the Big Apple's charm while simultaneously making you go absolutely insane. This collection of brokerages and hidden fees turns this anxiety-driven urban playground into a rental nightmare, forcing inhabitants to search for their humble abode on the other side of the East River. And with good riddance.

Over this past weekend, the NYTimes reported that, according to numbers from the brokerage firm CitiHabitats, Manhattan is costing more than it ever has, passing the 2007 housing bubble threshold. To stay in an apartment on this lonely island, a person has to dish out, on average, $3,418 a month. If we do the math, that is $41,016 a year; or, in other words, run... as fast as you can.

More »

The Rent is Too Damn High, So New Yorkers Are Buying Homes

320px-Apartmentingurgaon.JPG.jpeg
Jimmy McMillan might be on to something: a real estate research firm has noticed that more New Yorkers are trying to buy apartments -- because the rent is too damn high.

As it turns out, the perfect storm of inflated rents and low interest rates has pushed would-be renters into the market, according to DNAinfo.

Many home-seekers have complained that their rents have ballooned anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, so they see purchasing as the only economic option.

More »

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

rs_item_cfaaaaca2w1qaaaaaac2q6w.jpg
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."

More »

De Blasio Report: Uptown Has the Worst Landlords

landlords .JPG
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:

More »

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.

More »

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

st marks bookshop.jpg
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.

More »

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

st marks bookshop.jpg
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.

More »

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

st marks bookshop.jpg
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.

More »
Loading...