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Larry the Landlord

Posted by Renee on February 27, 2000 at 10:34:27:

Hi, Larry the Landlord. I just read your post on Always the theory is that if they do away with the housing laws the rents will drop because of the "free market" on rents. That's not true here in New York. There has always been a housing shortage here even before the turn of the century (1900s) and there still is. What housing there was in the early nineteen-seventys became co-op and were purchased by the tenants. The remaining housing stock that exists remains to be old dilapidated buildings. There hasn't been any affordable housing built in New York City for many many years. The only housing that has been and is being built are luxury condominiums that are selling for $1.5 million dollars. What is going on in almost all rent-stabilized buildings that are non-co-op is that the landlord is looking for any excuse to evict the rent-stabilized tenants presently residing in them and is hiring attorneys to issue summonses for such violations as "harboring a dog." The other landlords are buying up old walk-up apartment buildings, renovating (de-minimus -- just bringing up the apartments to code), filing illegal papers and charging $1500 and up for apartments that previously rented for $500 a month. The 1997 amendments are horrendous. They are now allowing landlords to conceal rent overcharges. You know, there are some things that I think are intolerable and that is that we have all lost our protections to the rights of privacy. Now, all a landlord has to do is request your income tax return if you have a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment and if he finds your income is above a certain amount he can decontrol your apartment. Do we all have incomes of over $200,000 a year in this city? Can we all afford to buy a co-op? Who is making the landlord reveal his true income? Who is checking up on his filing of false papers? All of us are entitled to a roof over our head, food on the table and good medical care. Most of us here do not make $200,000 a year and are just working to make ends meet. We're all "rent poor." Who are you kidding, Larry? I've lived in New York all my life, work for a living, don't want to buy a co-op and my main reason for living is not making as much money as I can.

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