The New York Post is not known for its bleeding-heart liberalism, so we're not surprised by the position of columnist Nicole Gelinas on the hot topic of the day, whether to renew/repeal/strengthen the city's rent stabilization laws. Gelinas is not a fan of the proposal to increase the vacancy decontrol amount above the current $2,000 threshold. In fact, she's not a fan of rent control in general. She writes: "[W]ithout rent regulation, politicians would lose a huge scare tactic with voters. They wouldn't be able to tell the public: Vote for me, or some investment-banking billionaire will come steal your walkup rental in Flushing." Wait, what?
Times for some elaboration:
Obviously, in a freer market, a newly renovated apartment in an elevator building near midtown Manhattan would still go for far more than a shabbier walk-up an hour away by subway. That's life. But a Facebook founder or Goldman Sachs partner isn't going to suddenly covet that two-bedroom apartment in an aging building off the Belt Parkway, demolishing New York's middle class.
But wouldn't it be incredible if they did? Hey Sean Parker, tired of your $20 million Greenwich Village party palace? Gives Gravesend a try! But let's say that Gelinas's nightmare comes true, and suddenly landlords can't charge market rates for an empty stabilized apartment with a rent that surpasses $2,000. Who stands to be the most hurt? According to one landlord, whose comment was plucked from the ether by BrickUnderground, that would be the 20-somethings who move to the Big Apple with a dream in their eye and a song in their heart:
"If the $2,000 limit is increased, I will have to go through my buildings with a fine-tooth comb looking for every illegal subletter and profiteer. I will be unforgiving on rent increases to market rent tenants, and they will be forced to pay an even greater percentage of my expenses. The brunt of these new proposed regulations would be born by the 20-somethings. Please don't force my hand. My market-rate tenants pay way more than their fair share of my expenses."Fair arguments all around, or more of the same pro-landlord politicking?
· Albany's rent racked [NYP]
· Twentysomething renters would bear brunt of rent regulation change [BU]
· Rent Stabilization coverage [Curbed]