I’m not a fan of rent stabilization / rent control laws.  Here’s one reason why.

By Patrick O’Gilfoil Healy, The New York Times

The woman had brilliant blond hair, a decent job and a rent-stabilized apartment on West 88th Street, but she longed for grander things. She yearned to cast off Manhattan and her job teaching special education. She wanted to trek to India to live spiritually, alone.

She described this wish to Jan Reynolds, an independent broker and managing agent, and then laid out her cards. The woman knew her landlord wanted to clear out his rent-stabilized tenants, with help from Ms. Reynolds. The tenant also knew she had a right to live at West 88th Street until she dropped dead. So she made Ms. Reynolds an offer.

If the landlord gave her $20,000, the tenant said, she would give up her apartment. Ms. Reynolds told the landlord, and within a few months, the tenant had made peace with her family, stripped the blond from her graying hair and boarded a plane to an ashram in India, Ms. Reynolds said.

With that deal 10 years ago, Ms. Reynolds leaped into a corner of the real estate world that is uniquely New York. She began brokering agreements to buy tenants out of their rent-stabilized and rent-controlled apartments.

When landlords want to demolish a building, take over an occupied brownstone or pull a stabilized apartment off the regulated rent rolls, they call in people like Ms. Reynolds to perform the seemingly impossible feat of wooing the tenants out of their cheap apartments. They are the pied pipers of Manhattan’s rental market, operating on the belief that every tenant, no matter how entrenched, will make a deal. Their job is calculating each person’s price tag.

Complete article: The Art of Persuading Tenants to Move

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Updated: 2018

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