Landlords Win Big: RGB Approves 7.75% Increase For Two Year Leases

Ouch!!!! This hurts. But I betcha the 793088-snidely_whiplashlandlords are river-dancing down Fifth Ave. in glee:

Via NY Observer:

“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. On Thursday night, the Rent Guidelines Board voted to jack up the rent approve rent increases of 4 percent for one-year leases and 7.75-percent for a two-year leases, as reported by The New York Times. The decision will mean increases of $40 a month, or $480 a year for a $1,000-a-month apartment, or $960 for a $2,000-a-month apartment, twice the amount of the 2012 increases, which were capped at 2 and 4 percent respectively.”


Manhattanville, USA: Price Of Admission, $3,200 A Month And Flawless Financials

Renting your piece of the Big Apple pie just got even more competitive  and  expensive as  vacancy rates of 1% (or less) plague the Brooklyn/Manhattan rental scene.

“The median rent for an apartment in Manhattan rose 6.5 percent from last year, to $3,195 from $3,000”–Douglas Elliman Monthly Report

Via NY Observer:

“With supply tightening, rentsStan+Laurel+&+Oliver+Hardy.+Liberty.+Leo+McCarey+-+USA+1929laurelhardy are rising. According to Douglas Elliman monthly report for April, the median rent for an apartment in Manhattan rose 6.5 percent from last year, to $3,195 from $3,000. There were more transactions as well, 1.4 percent more than the previous year, for a total of 4,287 in Manhattan.

All of which points to historically high rents for this summer, smashing last year’s already record highs. Here’s what to expect, according to Bond’s Mr. Wagner: “One bedrooms in walk-ups will continue to range from $2400 to $3000 regardless of the neighborhood, and doorman one-bedrooms are starting at $3200 and ranging as high as $5500 in the most luxury developments. Two bedrooms in walk-up buildings range from $2600, with the best values on the Upper East Side, and they are more commonly $2800 – $4400 with the most expensive units located in Greenwich Village. Doorman two bedrooms can be expected to start at $3800 and mostly exceed $4500 up to $6600 in any Manhattan neighborhood below 100th Street.”

Availability is tightest and rents are highest in the West Village, and Chelsea, with TriBeCa and SoHo fast on their heels, so real estate executives advise value shoppers to look elsewhere. Mr. Wagner says better deals are to be found in Murray Hill and the Upper East Side, “where doorman two bedrooms are more commonly less than $5000 monthly.”  In contrast, choice locations in the Village are asking as much as $8500 for two bedrooms, particularly close to Washington Square.

And when the lease is up, the rent goes up substantially. “Both major landlords and smaller ones are raising rents by 10-15 percent with each lease renewal,” says Andréa “Ande” Sedwick, senior vice president of NestSeekers. By way of comparison, back in 2007, lease renewals meant a 3-5% increase in rent. Nevertheless, Ms. Sedwick says, “More people are renewing. They are biting the bullet, rather than venture out into an ever more competitive market.”–New York Observer

Landlordrocknyc Design: Superior Ink Still Not Habitable After Sandy; Marc Jacobs And Wealthy Neighbors Can’t Return For Months; 10 Most Expensive Rentals In Manhattan

Superior Ink

“Wealthy residents of posh West Village condo building Superior Ink, including Marc Jacobs, were upset to hear they won’t be able to move back into their apartments for months after it was flooded by super storm Sandy. A source exclusively tells us that at a heated meeting on Wednesday night, owners were told, “Seawater got into the pipes and is corrosive, so this must be cleared out. The West 12th Street building could be unlivable for months. Owners will not get help to relocate and should call their insurance provider.”–Page Six, NY Post, November 2012

“Everyone’s favorite fashion industry couple (or at least ours!), Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone, have just closed on a $10.4 million townhouse at Superior Ink in the Village, Page Six reports:

The Bethune Street townhouse has nearly 4,400 square feet and comes with a private elevator, rear terrace and yard and a roof terrace, and connects to the garage for ultimate privacy.” Page Six, NY Post, March 2010

Superior Ink Condominium Lobby

Superior Ink Master Bedroom

Superior Ink Kitchen

Superior Ink Bathroom

Interiors at Robert A. M. Stern’s Superior Ink by Yabu Pushelberg…” were artfully designed to take advantage of the remarkable views offered by the prime, waterfront location. The floor plans delineate open, light-filled living spaces that were designed by clean lines offset by rich textures and fine finish”…Superior Ink Marketing Copy

What will tens of thousands a month in rent (try $150,000 at one joint) buy Marc Jacobs and  friends  in the new rental reality of life after Sandy?  It’s not pretty , even at these insane prices.

Astor Suite At The Plaza Hotel
$125,000 a month, reduced from $165.000 a month


The Way They Were: Bess Meyerson, Miss America 1945

There are two times in a NYC woman’s life when everyone wants what you’ve got. One is when you’re young and fresh and beautiful. The other is when you’re no longer young and fresh  but your view is still  beautiful.

When all that stands between big loot  for your landlord (millions if it’s a coop/condo,) is you, things can get uncomfortable at best (repairs not made,etc), predatory (illegal evictions) at worst.

I have long advocated for the rights and dignity of senior NYC tenants and plan to add resources and news they and their families can use with a Landlordrocknyc Senior Center section on this blog.  My muse?  America’s first (and only) Jewish Miss America–Bess Meyerson, 1945.

Bess Meyerson, Miss America 1945

I mention her religion because of the Anti-Semitism NYC’s first Consumer Affiair’s Commissioner  and others of her generation faced and worked to overcome. This is from an online bio (sorry, lost my  exact source notes on this one):

“Bess encountered anti-Semitism during the Miss America Pageant, when an official tried to convince her to change her name to one that was less ethnic, suggesting Betty Merrick. Bess refused.

Bess Meyerson,1945

The dark haired statuesque (she was the tallest contestant at 5′ 10″) beauty was the first recipient of a scholarship, but none of the pageant’s sponsors, including Catalina Swimsuits — chose to use the Jewish beauty from the Bronx as a spokesperson.. During her year as Miss America, Ms. Myerson made many personal appearances. One of these was scheduled at an antebellum country club, but just before the event she was told that there had been a terrible mistake, the country club was restricted, and no Jewish person could possibly be welcomed there.

Bess Myerson, determined to fight racial bigotry, traveled around the country speaking in behalf of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, in cooperation with the NAACP and the Urban League.

Many Americans remember Ms. Myerson as Mistress of Ceremonies for “The Big Payof” (1951-9) and as a panelist on “I’ve Got A Secret” (1958-67). From 1969-73 as Commissioner of Consumer Affairs of New York City, Myerson was architect of the most far-reaching consumer protection legislation in the country at that time, and was featured on the cover of Life Magazine (July 16, 1971) as “A Consumer’s Best Friend … Bess Myerson on the prowl for stores that cheat us.”…

…From 1983-7 she served under Mayor Ed Koch as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, where Bess substantially broadened financial support for New York City’s art community.”

As for the messy stuff that came later (incarcerated boyfriend, inexplicable shoplifting of dime store cosmetics,etc) let’s remember maybe the best ending  line of any movie: VIDEO

“I’ll take Manhattan…” but will luxury landlords take you? And we reveal Frank Gehry’s real name.

In NYC, the concept of a “luxury”  building is elastic and can be anything with a pulse and a doorman or something truly spectacular like Frank Owen Goldberg’s 8 Spruce Street tower, “New York”. (Like Norma Jean Baker and Archibald Leach, Frank wasn’t always Gehry). Here’s what it takes now, to get an apartment in the city:

Rental Application Checklist

  • Personal reference letters
  • Business reference letters
  • If employed by company: Letter from employer (on company letterhead) stating income, title, bonus structure, and length of employment.
  • If self-employed: Letter from CPA stating annual income.
  • Most recent pay stubs
  • Last two tax returns
  • Copy of driver’s license or passport
  • Credit check showing names, phone numbers, and addresses of your:
    • Employer
    • Banker
    • Accountant
    • Past landlords
    • Guarantor
  • Most recent bank and investment statements
  • Certified, local, or traveler’s checks for:
    • First month’s rent
    • Security deposit
    • Application fees ($25 – $400)

Landlordrocknyc Top Ten List: NYC’s Worst Landlords & Tenants

Even in the crazy, complex ,Byzantine and often dysfunctional world of New York housing law, where landlords have  been known to pose  as adult children of the elderly tenants they are trying to evict and tenants litigate for their right to house lizards and snakes  and receive live bugs by mail to feed them, these beauties are in a NY league of their own:

NYC’s lousiest landlords according

to NYC Public Advocate Bill de Bassio:

NYC’s most terrible tenants according to

The Village Voice :