Welcome to the crazy, mixed-up world that is New York City rent-stabilization, rent-control.

It’s a world where someone in a market-rate one bedroom unit pays $2,200, a month, and his next-door neighbor pays $875, for a three-bedroom unit.

It’s a world where some landlords, huge companies, can afford to play the game, but where a small entrepreneur gets caught in a weird time-warp.

Or, as New York magazine says:

What we saw was a uniquely New York kind of mess: Rents stuck in the Koch era and rents thrown at the market’s mercy; stylishly appointed units nestled next to appalling counterparts; lingering megacelebrity afterglow and a dose of murder most foul. And a landlord whose profits hinge almost entirely on her market-rate tenants.

The going is good, at least for some.

The tenant in Apartment 9 has his three bedroom apartment all to himself. His rent, back when he moved in, in 1987, was $600. It’s now a whopping $875. For the whole place.

“Three-bedroom” is actually an understatement: There are four rooms here, plus an honest-to-God antechamber. Destabilized, it would easily fetch north of $3,000 a month. This is, without a doubt, the most spectacular unit in the building: spacious, light-filled, with a bathroom done up in blue tile that wouldn’t be out of place in an Ian Schrager hotel. Since Brunschweiler did most of the renovations himself, he enjoys Weinstein’s good graces. “Whenever she needs to show someone an apartment,” he says, “she shows mine.”

The tenant in Apartment 4 isn’t quite so lucky – his rent is $2,200 per month.

Caterer Steven Hoertz shares this one-bedroom with his boyfriend. He moved in last June, after Weinstein had renovated the apartment and flipped it out of regulation. This can be done when the stabilized rent naturally reaches $2,000 a month … Hoertz pays what he terms “the market price” and considers the deal to be fair. He asks not to divulge the exact rent for fear of jeopardizing his relationship with Weinstein. Hoertz is positively giddy about one particular legacy of his address: “We feel Madonna’s aura in the building.”

Madonna’s aura is worth an extra $1,325 per month?

Insanity.

The Berserkonomics of One Rent-Stabilized Apartment Building – By Michael Idov, New York

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Updated: January 2018

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