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Larry the Landlord

Posted by Renee Stein on February 29, 2000 at 04:05:59:

Hi, Larry, thank you for your interesting reply to my posting on Tenant.Net. First of all, let me offer you $550 for that two-bedroom apartment you have. I would certainly make an interesting tenant. Where is your building? On the lower east side? Is it an old law tenament? Secondly, may I suggest that while the market is hot and your neighborhood is being gentrified that you sell your building and move to Florida. Yes, I remember the eighties. Landlords in your neighborhood (if in fact your building is on the lower east side) were desperate to rent their apartments to a reliable tenant and one literally offered me a steal. But that was on Avenue A or B, I don't remember which, where there were burned-out buildings and vacant lots and lots of drug dealers. You remember, don't you? As far as you owning just this one building. You are in the minority and yes, you probably do have lots of problems with tenants and don't have the money for fancy lawyers and probably end up just breaking even. But you are in the minority. Most of the old buildings are owned by mega corporations who keep buying them up at bankruptcy sales, do a little painting and plastering, phony up papers and rent out these apartments for as much as they can get. And yes, everyone wants to live here now, so these kids coming out of colleges have their parents to stake them to high rents and they have the income to pay outrageous rents. But take my complex, for example. These kids come and rent these apartments (my building is 100 years old) for $1400 a month, stay 6 months until reality strikes them and then move out in the middle of the night. The landlord is overjoyed because he can keep getting a vacancy allowance for each new rental so he doesn't care. He wants to bring them up to $2,000 a month and decontrol them. These apartments are about the size of a closet, literally. And yes, this is a capitalistic society but remember, everyone who lives here, particularly my generation, did not have the luxury of post-graduate college educations. The middle class, which was the backbone of this capitalist society is disappearing so that you have only two classes: the very rich and the middle class becoming very poor. And everyone does not make the kind of income you are talking about, nor do I think it is a crime to be working class. You sound like Ed Koch who remarked years ago that if you couldn't afford to live here you should leave. But remember, Ed Koch had the benefit of a rent-controlled apartment in the Village where he was paying about $250 a month in rent, due to the benefit of the "Mitchell Lama" program, a "Socialist" program which benefited the rich as well as the poor. Yes, I agree with you, small landlords have it tough here, but since you bought into the "capitalist system," I suggest that you not cry too much. Regards, Renee (the "Socialist")

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