[Moments from realizing their dream, the renters hit a potential snag and issue a plea for help.]
"So, my husband went alone to sign the lease - I was stuck at work in DC.
"He just called, confused - our lease has a rent-stabilization rider on it. But it's a new building! The lease language said that our rent is $2600 for one year, a discount from the legal registered rent, which is $3319/month. Deeply concerned that we are subject to a rent increase of $700 at the end of the year, I called a friend who works at HPD in New York City - she was baffled, as well, short of some exotic tax incentive. Gotham Court (see right) is new construction that replaced buildings at 149-51 Essex Street.
"A call to the state division of housing and community renewal info line in downtown Manhattan revealed nothing - to find out about the rent status of our building, we'd have to bring a copy of the lease for a rent counselling appointment.
"A quick scan of [Rent Guidelines Board website] did not list ANY of the addresses for Gotham Court as rent-stabilized.