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  • #16
    Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

    Originally posted by tarmill View Post
    But rent control/stabilization whatever, should definitely be gradually phased out, say over a 15-20 year period.
    I couldn't agree more. Rent control is eerily similar to the command-and-control economy of the old Soviet Union. The difference is that landlords willingly engaged in this (they didn't have to use rent control/stabilization) to receive tax subsidies.

    There's another city you can add to the list besides New York, and San Francisco and that's San Diego. Actually, I didn't realize SF had rent control. And SD suffers from housing shortages also.

    Generally, whereever the government has a heavy hand in regulating supply and/or pricing, there will be rationing. Some may not like this, but it's an empirical truth. In countries with socialized medicine, instead of paying with your $$$, you pay by waiting (with your time). There are no free rides and I think people tend to forget this.

    That said, I am in favor of SCRIE and those programs that genuinely help the unfortunate. I had a friend who was living on Broadway in the 70s in a 3,000+ square foot apartment (had the entire floor of a building) for $900 a month. The apt was so big, the pets had their own room. And he does just fine for himself financially. But he got the apartment in the 70's and rent control has done its trick.

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    • #17
      Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

      Rent controls are NOT the cause of NY housing problems. Cities without rent control can have terrible housing problems also, for example:


      Average Seattle worker can't afford to live here City looks for solution to lack of affordable housing

      By AUBREY COHEN
      P-I REPORTER

      Noam Gundle's income as a science teacher at Ballard High School is enough to buy less than half a typical house or three-quarters of a condo, based on last year's sales prices.

      But he earns too much money to qualify for programs that help low-income residents buy homes.

      "I will never be able to buy a home in the city of Seattle unless things change," said Gundle, 32, who rents, with roommates.

      Many agree that the time has come to do something about the fact those with decent Seattle jobs can't afford homes here. But proposed solutions vary, and some already are criticizing ones the city plans to release by midyear....

      Housing costs have forced Swedish Medical Center to beef up its offers; more than 55 percent of Swedish employees now live outside of the city.

      "It's becoming more the norm to commute for an hour," said Meg Steele, the hospital's recruitment director.

      http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...ordable02.html

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      • #18
        Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

        Wow...I'm honestly stunned that so many here don't seem to understand that rent control is something that is not only good, but should be improved!

        Rent control exists because, frankly, landlords cannot be trusted to keep rents at affordable levels otherwise. There are various forms of rent control in many parts of the world. In areas where there isn't RC...well, it isn't necessary, because you don't have property owners trying to gouge people the same way they do in New York.

        Originally posted by tarmill View Post
        And I totally agree with you 100% on everything you said. I couldn't have said it better myself! I have observed the same thing as you that the newcomers are actually paying subsidies to the old timers. Same as you I realized that when I found out I was paying nearly $1500 more a month for the same apartment than other people in my building. It didn't take long to figure out the landlord had to charge us newbies a lot more to subsidize those who were paying a lot less.
        This isn't true, though. It's a fallacy to believe that higher-cost rents are there to subsidize the rent controlled folks. Landlords and building owners get a lot of cushy tax breaks when they have rent controlled apartments. It's not a losing proposition for them in that respect.

        The so-called "market value" rents charged by landlords are disproportionate to the services they offer. I've seen people charge $2000 for illegal basement apartments. Why? Because they can. Period. My mother lives in a building that is not rent controlled. One year, her landlord raised the rent 30%. Did she get 30% more services? No. Did the staff of the building receive raises? No. Where did that money go...someone's new Hummer, probably.

        It's interesting that Manhattan and San Francisco both have similar rent control schemes and they both are I think the two most expensive cities in America! I wish people could put two and two together. In other cities, that have no rent control they are not only much cheaper, but the apartments are much nicer!
        New York and San Francisco have a lot of other reasons why the costs of living are high. Take the example of West Hollywood, a city that was basically founded because of rent stablization. It's a much nicer place than Hollywood proper in many respects.

        It should be left up to the free market like it is everywhere else.
        I am a firm believer in the free market for many things. Cars? Yep. CDs? Fine. Lattes at Starbucks? You want them, you pay for them, or not.

        However, housing is an essential, not a luxury. It should be protected for everyone.

        In addition, the free market strategy doesn't actually work that well in New York, because owners are ignoring the needs of the market. Example? Stroll into the rental office of any of these chic new apartment buildings and ask about vacancies. Ten to one, there are a lot of apartments standing empty. Meanwhile, the waiting list for Starrett City is ten years or longer. Why? It's affordable!

        Maybe the poor blue collar workers don't get to live in the ritziest part of town
        The housing crisis in New York is citywide, not just Manhattan. I've heard of people being priced out of the South Bronx. Where should they go? Are Long Island, Westchester or Northern New Jersey cheaper? Heck no. Should they just leave New York altogether and move to West Virginia? Well, I guess they could. A lot of people in the middle class are doing just that.

        But...who's going to work in the city, if nobody can afford to live here? Is someone going to endure the price and stress of a two-hour commute to work at Starbucks? No. Make the city unaffordable to all but the very affluent, and the city will stop.

        I'd also add that this is not something that only affects "poor blue collar workers." My mother has a college degree and makes about $80,000 a year. She's struggling to survive in the city. The average annual salary in New York City is $45,000. Finding an affordable apartment on that money is a joke.

        I've also found that people who live in these massively subsidized apartments (one of my neighbors pays $113 a month for a 2 bedroom in Chelsea!), aren't the most motivated people workwise (and I'm not talking about the ones who have retired). I've known many people in these apartments and almost to a one, none of them had what most of us would call a real job. Most have been waitresses and bartenders who worked off and on whenever they felt the need. I've only known one person living in subsidized housing who actually worked full time in what was actually a real career. She didn't make much money, but it was a good job and she did work full time.

        But overall, living in subsidized housing seems to rob people of any motivation to work! I'M NOT SAYING ALL!!!! But I am saying almost all of the ones I've known.
        Well...I'm extremely offended by this. Have you ever worked as a server? You are on your feet running around for hours, dealing with customers who can be jerks...it's real work, and it's hard work. Personally, the two years I spent in a service profession, during school, were far more grueling than any "professional" work I've done since. What counts as a "real job?" Not everyone has the blessing of a good education, the opportunity for college or the luxury of connections. Sometimes, people have to take jobs just to survive. Sometimes the bartending job will give you health insurance, when the office job won't. Which one do you choose?

        Most people I know in subsidized housing are just like anyone else, they're doing the best they can to survive in this city. They're nurses, professional actors, teachers, cops, firefighters, MTA staff, freelance writers, computer techs, paralegals, real estate agents (there's a twist...). I personally am glad they have the opportunity to live here without being gouged to death by unfair rents.

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        • #19
          Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

          Originally posted by AEG View Post
          I couldn't agree more. Rent control is eerily similar to the command-and-control economy of the old Soviet Union. The difference is that landlords willingly engaged in this (they didn't have to use rent control/stabilization) to receive tax subsidies.

          There's another city you can add to the list besides New York, and San Francisco and that's San Diego. Actually, I didn't realize SF had rent control. And SD suffers from housing shortages also.

          Generally, whereever the government has a heavy hand in regulating supply and/or pricing, there will be rationing. Some may not like this, but it's an empirical truth.
          I disagree. It's a way of ensuring that an essential--housing--is available to all. Why are there housing shortages? Not because there is a physical lack of apartments, but because there is a lack of apartments that people can actually afford. There's a difference.

          In countries with socialized medicine, instead of paying with your $$$, you pay by waiting (with your time). There are no free rides and I think people tend to forget this.
          The catch is, under socialized medicine, people actually have access to the services, even if they wait. There's a difference between waiting a month for an operation and dying because you're just not able to afford the operation at all.

          Also, under most socialized medicine schemes, you do in fact pay something equivalent to a co-payment, it's not free. You pay your share, the government kicks in, and they also keep the practitioners and drug companies from gouging you. Health care shouldn't be about economics. It should be about making people well, whether they're poor or rich.

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          • #20
            Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

            Wow Tarmill, i think i found something to agree with you on :-)

            Rent Control is only around because of WWII and unlike most cities in the rest of the country it was never dissolved after the war. Now, there is something as high as over 50% that are contolled/stabillized only creating a stronger and enforced disparity of wealth.

            Now of course I believe everyone should have a home (and in fact, NY is the only state where everyone by law has a right to have one, hard to believe, i know). However, there are many others ways to ensure this, such as inclusionary housing, 80/20, affordable housing, etc. Programs such as these would give lower priced housing to those who need it, without limiting the supply and cost for those who don't, and therefore opening up about a huge percentage of apartments to the market. If all these apartments were opened up to the market, creating a much larger supply, landlords would be much less likely to hike up rent and get away with it....now they can because they know there supply is small and you cant just easily pack up and leave.

            Of course the public uproar and confusion for a period of 5-10 years would never allow it to be dissolved.

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            • #21
              Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

              Originally posted by alexismckinnon View Post
              Rent control exists because, frankly, landlords cannot be trusted to keep rents at affordable levels otherwise. [snip]
              I am a firm believer in the free market for many things. Cars? Yep. CDs? Fine. Lattes at Starbucks? You want them, you pay for them, or not.

              However, housing is an essential, not a luxury. It should be protected for everyone.
              How do you give up on the free market for housing but not for other essentials: food, medicine (granted, I believe you favor socialized medicine based on your last post), clothing, schooling, children's needs, food and medical care for pets, legal representation....I don't think the list ever stops.

              I do think one either trusts in the free market or doesn't. The gray area comes in where those who are needy get help -- but an economy shouldn't have a whole system based on artificial rationing, e.g., the apartment system in NYC.

              And if the city "came to a stop", maybe politicians would consider what else makes the city so expensive, i.e., state taxes and city taxes. (What happened to the temporary city tax surcharge? Looks like it has become permanent to me.)

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              • #22
                Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                Originally posted by AEG View Post
                How do you give up on the free market for housing but not for other essentials: food, medicine (granted, I believe you favor socialized medicine based on your last post), clothing, schooling, children's needs, food and medical care for pets, legal representation....I don't think the list ever stops.

                I do think one either trusts in the free market or doesn't. The gray area comes in where those who are needy get help -- but an economy shouldn't have a whole system based on artificial rationing, e.g., the apartment system in NYC.

                And if the city "came to a stop", maybe politicians would consider what else makes the city so expensive, i.e., state taxes and city taxes. (What happened to the temporary city tax surcharge? Looks like it has become permanent to me.)
                I do favor socialized medicine, yes. I like something along the lines of France or Canada's systems, where there are caps on medication and doctors' costs, there's responsibility on the part of the individual, but there's also treatment that's accessible to everyone.

                We work in a mixed economy all the time. You can send your child to a private school, but there's also a free public school system available. there are all sorts of tax incentives, scholarships, sliding scale tuition, etc. for kids who have the ability, but not the financial means, to attend private schools. School, at the K-12 level is certainly not "free market." The government heavily regulates prices for certain goods, or levies taxes to control consumption (ie, the cigarette taxes). And a lot of the things on your list are not essentials. Legal representation? We offer that, don't we, in the form of public defenders.

                The problem is that when an essential--water, housing, etc.--is left solely to the free market, without price controls, the consumers are at the mercy of the owners. The normal supply and demand rules go out the window. They can jack up the prices however high they wish, because, well, everyone needs water and a place to live. That should not be the case.

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                • #23
                  Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                  Originally posted by alexismckinnon View Post
                  The problem is that when an essential--water, housing, etc.--is left solely to the free market, without price controls, the consumers are at the mercy of the owners. The normal supply and demand rules go out the window. They can jack up the prices however high they wish, because, well, everyone needs water and a place to live. That should not be the case.
                  I think this presupposes on very important thing. That people have a right to live in New York City. If you believe this, then yes, everything you say makes sense to me. If people are required to adjust to their surroundings, and may have to go to other parts of the country if financial dictates require cf., my old thread on almost moving to Raleigh, that indeed is life in the US of A.

                  What does almost every other city and state do? The participate in the free market for housing. People come and go based on how well jobs are in supply, tax levels, and how well politicians manage their governments.

                  By artificially lowering costs on apartments, we exacerbate a problem (scarce resources) that have no impetus to go away at all.

                  As you may tell by this point, I believe living in NYC is a privilege, in part owing to its high cost of living. If I can no longer afford the rent on my apartment, where is it written (or pre-supposed) that I have a right to a special price on housing, especially, and I really do mean especially, there are so many other places in the country that how such lower costs of living? What about New Orleans? Their economy could really use workers right now. And a transfer of workers from NY to NO would be an example of the free market doing its thing. I don't support kicking grandma out to go to a SRO in New Orleans. But any other 20, 30, 40, etc year old person in good health...they have no particular right to live in any city if they don't own their land, don't own their house, etc. (On what grounds do we prop up those who are not needy? )

                  New York has a lot of positives. But when it comes to housing and rent control, I think it's a nightmare system of perverse incentives.

                  And I also don't think the system will go away anytime soon. Me? I am merely whistling past the graveyard. I know I am in the esoteric minority on this subject.

                  However, I have seen no good ideas to improve our lot with housing and rent control. It's like the Energizer Bunny of bad ideas....it keeps going and going....

                  (I could also address what you brought up about legal defense, but you said what I said. It's also considered a right and paid for by the state and thus the taxpayers. My point was that housing is far from the only "right" and we are headed down a path of people thinking they are even more entitled to things paid for by others than they are now.)

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                  • #24
                    Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                    AEG - wow, impressive reply your last post! Very well said I must say. And yes, you and I both know that we're in a tiny minority - along with Kurt I guess - who feels this way. So the rest of you shouldn't get too upset with us! We have no influence here!

                    Just a couple of things - first Alexis, you mentioned nationalized healthcare like that in Canada and France. AEG you mentioned that there is a price for that health care and it is the time you have to wait. That is true, but the thing you didn't do is stress how incredibly important waiting time is when it comes to health care. It literally can mean life or death. Please, you guys if you don't do anything else, look up some information on the Canadian health care system. People there DO die because they can't get the care they need in time. A friend of mine is from Canada and her mom got sick recently. I'll have to ask her what it was because I forget the exact nature of the illness. But it was something that did have a time critical element to it. The Canadians told her mom that they couldn't do anything just yet because she hadn't gotten test results back that conclusively showed she had the illness. So she called the clinic that was supposed to do the test and they told her it would be 6 months before they could fit her in!

                    Problem was that if she had the illness - in 6 months it would be too late. The poor mom is a very humble older woman and she just could not bring herself to be assertive with the health clinic. So her daughter - who is very assertive - called. They wouldn't budge for her either. So the daughter paid for her mom to fly to New York, she paid for her to go to a doctor here and she paid for her to have the tests done here. The test came back positive meaning her mom was seriously ill. She took the test results back to Canada and only then did they move to get her the treatment she needed!

                    Point is, if she didn't have a daughter who lived in New York, she would have died without this early treatment. She wouldn't have made it 6 more months. Happily, she is doing fine and looks like she'll be in great shape soon. Waiting Time is an incredibly high price to pay for "free" health care (which isn't free because you're taxed to death to pay for it). The Canadian system is headed for bankruptcy as is the French system. The French though seem to have the best system as of now. Only problem is it's not sustainable in the long term.

                    Originally posted by Southpaw View Post
                    Rent controls are NOT the cause of NY housing problems. Cities without rent control can have terrible housing problems also
                    Yes, there are two causes for high rents, one cause is market pressures and the other is artificial governmental pressures. A city can become expensive simply because more people want to live there than there are available living units. That will naturally cause prices to go up. There is a governmental component to that as well. Many local governments (like NYC and Seattle) put extremely high regulatory barriers to building new living units. Developers are therefore less likely to build new units - which in turn keeps the housing supply low and prices high.

                    If NYC were to gradually phase out rent control and at the same time lessen regulations that make it so difficult for builders to build new units, then - and only then - would you begin to see housing prices come down and quality go up.

                    In the end though, every desirable market will reach a point where more people want to live there than there is space for. When that happens rents will go up. So the question is which is more fair... is it more fair for the "market" to determine rents based on what buyers and sellers are willing to charge and pay, or is it more fair for the government to set the prices?

                    Most people in Chelsea no doubt think it's more fair for the government to do it. They have an inherent distrust of the markets. I, AEG, Kurt and apparently LeeLee as well, believe it's more fair for the market to do it.

                    And it's not just a matter of opinion. This theory of ours has already been tested and proven in many cities around the country. Look at major southern cities that are far less likely to have any type of rent control and far more likely to have local governments that are friendly to new development. Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas - just to name a few. Just go look at what you can get for $1,500 a month in any of those cities. You'll be astounded at how much more space and how much nicer amenities you'll get than you get here. Why is it that those cities, which are regional hubs that draw people from all around their respective regions - just like New York does on a national level - why is it you can get so much more space and amenities for so much less money in those unregulated housing markets?

                    Why is it the more regulated a housing market is, the more expensive apartments are and the less appealing they are? New York has some of the least desirable apartments I've ever seen. People living in shoe boxes for $2,000 a month. No dishwasher. No washing machine. No dryer. No microwave! Old, old, old outdated refrigerator.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                      Originally posted by alexismckinnon View Post
                      Wow...I'm honestly stunned that so many here don't seem to understand that rent control is something that is not only good, but should be improved!
                      I'm stunned too Alexis! I'm surprised it's not just me this time!

                      Originally posted by alexismckinnon View Post
                      Rent control exists because, frankly, landlords cannot be trusted to keep rents at affordable levels otherwise.
                      I agree that landlords can't be trusted to keep rents at an affordable level. I'm in complete agreement with you on that. But that is why "market forces" exist. This is a big difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals feel that government can be better trusted to handle the economy and conservatives feel the free market does a much better job. I'll just ask you to do what I mentioned above. Look at the cities that have fewer housing regulations and compare them to the cities that have more. In almost all cases you'll find that the cities where market forces reign, will have cheaper housing and better housing. And cities where the government has decided to take charge you will almost always find much more expensive housing and a much lower quality of housing.

                      But I do agree with you that landlords can't be trusted to keep rents at a reasonable level. In fact, no business person can be trusted to keep their prices at a reasonable level. That's what competition is all about. you can either trust the government to manage things, or you can trust free market competition. I think experience shows that free market competition while far from perfect, does a much better job than governments do.

                      Originally posted by alexismckinnon View Post
                      There are various forms of rent control in many parts of the world. In areas where there isn't RC...well, it isn't necessary, because you don't have property owners trying to gouge people the same way they do in New York.
                      Human nature is human nature. Builders aren't less greedy in Atlanta than they are in New York. They just have less opportunity there because there's so much more competition. Their greed is curbed by competition. There are millions of dollars to be made, so more than one developer jumps into the market. Builds some housing and then tries to sell it. However, instead of being able to sell it for the huge price he originally intended, he's discovered that Developer B down the street is selling for half his price! Well, what can he do? He has to lower his price in order to compete. That's how an unregulated market regulates itself.


                      Originally posted by alexismckinnon View Post
                      My mother lives in a building that is not rent controlled. One year, her landlord raised the rent 30%. Did she get 30% more services? No. Did the staff of the building receive raises? No. Where did that money go...someone's new Hummer, probably.
                      Well, I'm very sorry to hear this happened to your mother. I hope she's getting around it somehow o.k. But this does go to my point about competition. The reason this landlord was able to do this, was not because there aren't enough regulations in NYC, it's because there's not enough competition. If the landlord down the street was charging half as much for an even better apartment, your mom could have just moved and ended up in a better place. If her landlord had known that was a possibility, there's no chance he would have raised her rent by 30%. What we need here is not more regulations, but less! And more competition.

                      Originally posted by alexismckinnon View Post
                      Well...I'm extremely offended by this. Have you ever worked as a server? You are on your feet running around for hours, dealing with customers who can be jerks...it's real work, and it's hard work.
                      Yes, yes I know. And I really meant no offense to servers at all. I actually have tremendous respect for them. I know it's an incredibly difficult job. But, if you'll notice in my original comment it wasn't the fact they were servers that I was annoyed by, it was the fact that they only work now and then, whenever they feel the need. They don't have to work all the time and they don't. When your rent is only $113 you can take a lot of time off! Point being, they could afford a lot more than they are currently paying if they worked full time like everyone else.
                      Originally posted by LeeLee View Post
                      Wow Tarmill, i think i found something to agree with you on :-)
                      Cool LeeLee! You knew there had to be something we'd agree on eventually!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                        Originally posted by tarmill View Post
                        Just a couple of things - first Alexis, you mentioned nationalized healthcare like that in Canada and France. AEG you mentioned that there is a price for that health care and it is the time you have to wait. That is true, but the thing you didn't do is stress how incredibly important waiting time is when it comes to health care. It literally can mean life or death. Please, you guys if you don't do anything else, look up some information on the Canadian health care system. People there DO die because they can't get the care they need in time. A friend of mine is from Canada and her mom got sick recently. I'll have to ask her what it was because I forget the exact nature of the illness. But it was something that did have a time critical element to it. The Canadians told her mom that they couldn't do anything just yet because she hadn't gotten test results back that conclusively showed she had the illness. So she called the clinic that was supposed to do the test and they told her it would be 6 months before they could fit her in!

                        Waiting Time is an incredibly high price to pay for "free" health care (which isn't free because you're taxed to death to pay for it). The Canadian system is headed for bankruptcy as is the French system. The French though seem to have the best system as of now. Only problem is it's not sustainable in the long term.
                        Hey Tarmill, you do make a good point about the waiting time. Of course, if you have a critical illness or an urgent matter, waiting six months may not be the best thing in the world.

                        However, I would argue that in the US free market healthcare system, a lot more people die or suffer long term problems simply because they cannot afford to receive the care they need. We hear story after story about people who are force to choose between food and medicine, people who die because their HMO won't let them see specialists and they can't afford a doctor on their own, and people who literally lose everything they own and ruin their credit because of hospital bills.

                        I'm a case in point. If medicine I need is not covered under my insurance, I can't get it. Last year my doctor wanted me to go for an MRI, it wasn't covered and I didn't have a few thousands of dollars lying around, so I didn't get it. Does this mean I might suffer long term issues, because I'm not taking something I should? Yes, but hey, it's either the prescription or the light bill. The drug companies in the USA push prices higher than they are anywhere else in the world, including other countries WITHOUT socialized medicine. The same script that would cost me $10 out of pocket in the UK (not subsidized by the NHS at all) will cost me $100 here.

                        And I'm lucky that I have insurance at all. God forbid you're uninsured, middle income and you have a major illness or accident...you're in debt for years, if you're able to get a doctor to treat you at all.

                        Also, there's a two-tier system in a lot of these countries. In the UK, Australia and other places, you or your employer can pay for private coverage to bypass the wait. But if you don't have the money, you're not going to be denied treatment or driven to bankruptcy. That's the key. You need an MRI or a prescription, the price won't keep you from it. The USA is the only major industrialized nation without universal health care; we should really follow the rest of the world on this point.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                          Originally posted by tarmill View Post
                          I'm stunned too Alexis! I'm surprised it's not just me this time!
                          True enough. I seem to be outnumbered on this thread!

                          Look at the cities that have fewer housing regulations and compare them to the cities that have more. In almost all cases you'll find that the cities where market forces reign, will have cheaper housing and better housing. And cities where the government has decided to take charge you will almost always find much more expensive housing and a much lower quality of housing.
                          I have. And I gave the counter-example of West Hollywood, where rents are strictly regulated and there's a higher standard of living than neighboring Los Angeles. There are a lot of factors that affect the quality of housing, and it isn't just the rent restrictions. I do agree that other regions have nicer housing than NYC. But I don't blame this on the regs.

                          Well, I'm very sorry to hear this happened to your mother. I hope she's getting around it somehow o.k. But this does go to my point about competition. The reason this landlord was able to do this, was not because there aren't enough regulations in NYC, it's because there's not enough competition. If the landlord down the street was charging half as much for an even better apartment, your mom could have just moved and ended up in a better place. If her landlord had known that was a possibility, there's no chance he would have raised her rent by 30%. What we need here is not more regulations, but less! And more competition.
                          I agree with you that the first person who builds an apartment complex with $1000 units will have people pounding at his or her door. But the problem with this theory is that we already HAVE a lot of open market competition, and that's not happening.

                          If this were the case, then all the owners of those vacant luxury apartments would be falling over themselves to lower their rents and attract tenants. With the housing crisis in NYC right now, it would be a major way to fill up their buildings. They instead choose to keep the rents high and the units vacant.

                          Instead, what happens is a price gouging situation. If there's a lower cost alternative, of course, the consumer will go there. If everyone raises their prices, there's no place to turn, and the consumer is either forced to pony up the money or get out of the game.

                          And this happens in all sorts of industries, as I'm sure you know. Tuition for universities of similar calibre, airfare, even prices for Broadway show tickets usually level out to a similar, if not identical price. When it happens with an unessential item, there's a choice...you pay or you don't get the service. When it's an essential item, such as housing, you're sort of between a rock and a hard place. You can't really choose not to have a place to sleep, and carry on with life normally. This is why landlords get away with the things they do, and why there's no normal free market flow. And this is why I strongly feel that there should be restrictions across the board.

                          One question...if there were rent caps across the board, for all tenants, would you really object? If given the opportunity to have an apartment where you knew the rent was only going to increase by 10% next year, and that your neighbors had the same deal, would you really say "oh, no, I'll trust the free market?" Or would you sign that lease and feel more comfortable, knowing you wouldn't suddenly have to move when the landlord wanted a 30% price jump?

                          My mother's not getting around this, unfortunately. Yet another person priced out of the state.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                            "his is a big difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals feel that government can be better trusted to handle the economy and conservatives feel the free market does a much better job."

                            Tarmill: please stop defining liberals and conservatives, especially in posts that are not directly related to politics. As we have discussed elsewhere, the opinions of either party are not so black and white, and interpreting them as such only deepens a divide.

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                            • #29
                              Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                              I've been following this thread but haven't jumped in since I think all of you are covering it rather well. Thought you might be interested in this

                              http://www.tenant.net/Oversight/50yrRentReg/history.html[/URL]

                              Sorry, technology impaired and didn't get the hyperlink in right

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                              • #30
                                Re: 340 West 17th - LANDLORD!

                                Thanks for information. I got many information from this discussion.
                                I have known West 17th Street is connected with East 17th Street but what is the history of these streets. Con any one share the real story?

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