Should I Swap My Rent-Stabilized Apartment?

This week we address swapping apartments; selling a fixer upper; and the case of a nudist neighbor.

Comments: 20

  1. Re "Apartment Swap" - I presume that the tenant is living in a sponsor-owned apartment and as such has no right to negotiate selling the apartment to a neighbor unless the neighbor is the also sponsor. Clearly such a transaction has to involve the sponsor.

  2. as a co-op owner and former president of the board, i'm also quite surprised that the response failed to mention the sponsor (or heir to the unsold shares -- the owner of the remaining rent-stabilized apts in a co-op): the covetous neighbor may only negotiate purchase of such a rent-stabilized apt with the OWNER of the apt.

  3. I'm assuming the offer is just to get the tenant to vacate and that the interested buyer is negotiating the actual purchase with the sponsor...?

  4. Re: the writer who was asking about selling the fixer upper: I concur COMPLETELY with the responses. It is an AWFUL idea to permit any renovation prior to closing. There are SO MANY unknowns when things start getting ripped out. I have owned and renovated three apartments and, even with the most careful planning, SOMETHING always goes wrong. Further, there might be insurance complications: what happens to the present owner's coverage if the NEW owners' contractor springs a leak into the apartment below? I can see two insurance companies duking it out over who's going to pay - which, itself, could jeopardize the sale. This is a very unwise idea.

  5. What the seller might do would be to add a clause that they will allow access to contractors and architects so the seller could begin to plan the renovation before closing. Measurements, then design are key steps.

    The buyer could get a 2 month jump on the process and have renovation application paperwork and permits ready to submit when the sale closes.

    there is little or no risk and it would be a plus for the buyer.

  6. As far as letting a buyer renovate a kitchen and bath, remember this is a coop, you probably need permission, which you will never get from the coop board.
    I don't think your lawyer would even put that contingency in the contract.
    These reasons besides the ones in the article pretty much rule out this idea. Good luck.

    Mike Tirelli
    Kaye Realty & Development Inc.

  7. I really feel that rent-stabilization needs to change. It has to be tied to income and limited to providing an apartment in the same building, not one particular apartment. I'm assuming the person here is single. Why on earth should the landlord have to give a single adult a two-bedroom apartment for $1,200? An apartment, yes, so as not to displace them from their neighborhood, but not a two-bedroom. It's a lottery. From what I've seen of people who live in rent-stabliized apartments, they take unfair advantage of the benefit.

  8. It is tied to income, which can be up to $200,000 a year, not exactly poor even in NYC

    And yes, it is winning the lottery, in that a single person can live in a huge two or three bedroom apartment for life and their children can inherit it, while a less lucky family with two children will be crammed in a one bedroom, for which they pay market rate.

    What has happened with these one million apartments is that the older and richer tenants are being subsidized by the younger and poorer tenants. This cannibalization of the young by the old is abberant beyond belief and yet since there is no way the older tenants could afford to move, as the rents would be too expensive, it is not really their fault.

    It is the fault of our representatives, some of whom have also won this lottery, so they have no interest in leveling the playing field.

    By the way, entire sections of the city have been turned into virtual retirement villages for just this reason.

  9. Rent stabilization is not a lottery. And rent stabilization is not a benefit, either.

    A landlord does not have to "give" you something, either. It's a lease that you apply for. The landlord checks you out, including your income, and, if they agree to lease to you then you sign. No one does anything that they don't want to do. You are stating lots of mistruths.

    If you sign a legal lease contract for a rent stabilized apartment in good faith there is no reason to expect to be ousted 10-20-30 years later because 1) the rent is below market, 2) you are in a 2-3-4 bedroom apartment and are single, 3) any other reason.

    It's sad that you feel so strongly about this, Linda, but people's lives are not something that should so easily just be pushed around by market forces.

  10. If you can see the nudist, then it is likely the nudist can see you. Does she wave or acknowledge you in states of undress? If so, she obviously does not care and I would also advise a window treatment.

  11. My late grandparents lived in a highrise in Chicago in the 60s, and to the shared delight of them and their next door neighbor, an across-the-street neighbor did her housework in the nude. Occasionally they'd run into her in the grocery store, and it became apparent that she was quite near-sighted; without glasses, she was likely unaware that others could see at distances at which she could not!

  12. I don't know where the money involved in these stories comes from. At $10, he would have to work 4 hours every day to just to pay his rent. I wouldn't be able to do that. I think the world you're describing is irresponsible.

  13. The nudity in the window thing is sooo New York! People crammed together in the big city are pretty forgiving. However, I can imagine that if a dude was traipsing around in the altogether in front of his windows somewhere in the 'burbs, the cops would be knocking on his door tout suite!

  14. Yes, but the writer is in West Orange, NJ!

  15. Our friend once had a loft opposite filled with German student nudists who engaged in provocative exhibitionist sexually athletic displays. They were especially excited by social events and parties. ''Don't pay attention," he said, 'It only encourages them.''

  16. About the nudist lady who bends over and flashes and a neighbor complains

    "So the little old prude person in the rural area complains of nude swimming in the creek near his/her property, to the local sheriff, who tells the swimmers to go swim somewhere else, and they do and then the prude still complains: -if i go up on my roof and use my binoculars I can still see them"

    indeed an up-skirt or down-blouse cross town peek-show is in a newspaper abut real estate?


  17. Aside from your obvious contempt, your example (of a rural prude) is poor. It would be more important to let the woman know that if you can see her, so can anyone--not necessarily neighbors and not necessarily friendly. Eight light years ago, my college apartment mate would clean up after hot weather dinners in her undies/slip...we were on the second floor so she didn't think a thing of it until someone came up our fire escape and tried to break in (to his detriment, we kept a baseball bat handy and lived next to a helpful fraternity).
    While I agree that they can just stop looking, their neighbor should also let her know as she could just be oblivious...and unsafe.

  18. Re the bare neighbor: put up a window covering and call it a day. Don't say anything to her because she knows what the deal is (do you really think she is unaware?) and may escalate the situation if you acknowledge her actions. Maybe she'll get bored of the game and move soon.

  19. If I recall correctly, Rep. Charlie Rangel had four or five rent-stabilized apartments.

    It's good to be king.

  20. Your recall is incorrect. He has three RSA apt.'s in the same building with his landlord's permission and they were leased at current market rates. Notwithstanding PAC money being spent prodigiously to unseat Rangel that coincided with his call to treat hedge fund profits as ordinary without carry-forwards, Rangel was returned to office by popular vote. But, it is interesting that you, living in Sewickley, PA, care so deeply about our local housing and rent regulations. Touching.