Using the plight of Bianca Jagger as a launching pad, the Observer's Tom Acitelli weighs in on the current trend of dissing rent control. He points out that market-rate rentals outnumber stabilized ones over two to one, so it's not like landlords are being forced into a life of poverty. And if they are, the state offers hardship benefits. So what's with all the haters? He writes:
Mostly, objection to rent stabilization stems from that unexamined contempt for an imagined class of freeloading rich people working the system: that someone with the means to pay market rate will land in an apartment—sometimes an opulent apartment—with an artificially low rent that’s likely to last for that person’s lifetime. It’s almost impossible for landlords to turn an occupied stabilized apartment market-rate.Jealousy, you silent killer! Acitelli then goes on to point out what would become a real mess, if the system was junked and everyone was "tossed into an apartment market where rents have become unhinged from market realities." Wait, $5,000/month studios in the Financial District isn't normal?
· The Struggling Landlord, and Other Real-Estate Tales [NYO]
· In Which We Defend Bianca Jagger [Curbed]