Rent Control Is a Vanishing New York Treasure
John Burke pays $288 a month for a rent-stabilized studio apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
By CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY Published: May 24, 2010
Yadda, yadda, yadda… you can real all about the bargains some people have by clicking here.
But here’s the part that gets me; according to the New York Times story from the link, the gentleman pictured above, John Burke pays $288 per month at 218 E. 84th Street. That a pretty prime address. It’s not Park Avenue, but it’s pretty good. He’s been there since 1977, when he rented paying $65 a month.
What’s wrong with this picture? Even in 1977, $65 a month was cheap. But $288 in 2010? That’s insane. The plot get better. Mr. Burke wants you to know that it has been easy for him. He had to spend $13,500 to fix his apartment and he’s spent $11,000 on legal fees. Ok, that’s $24,500 over 33 years. That’s $742 per year, or another $61 per month. So his rent has really been $$349.86. Let’s round up to $350 per month, after fixup and legal fees. I don’t see much to complain about there.
At no time did the landlord ever earn enough on Mr. Burke’s apartment to spend any money repairing or upgrading his apartment. Yet the city has to maintain a bureaucracy to supervise rent controlled apartments and city inspectors have to search for violations in Mr. Burke’s apartment. And then Housing Court has to spend more time and money adjudicating issues between Mr. Burke and his landlord. Repeat that for the 40,000 other rent controlled apartments out there.
It’s time to bring the rent control era to an end. You might not think rent stabilization is a whole lot better, but it is, when you compare it to rent control.