Dear Mr. Capsis,
The loss of your paper for West Village residents would be a tragedy. That said, youreditorial comment in “Only The Rich…”while well intentioned was erroneous inimplying that rent control was a good deal, [and] in fact cementing that view by using the $500 and $600 rents of people you know as examples. Usually when there are low rates like that, it’s a mom and pop building and they don’t want to spend any money on lawyers submitting applications to raise the rent. Or the building has several violations against it: holes in walls, rats, etc.
Actually Rent Control is a very bad deal for people who don’t qualify for SCRIE: Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption.The “Rent Increase Exemption” should be a tip off that there is really no “Rent Control.” In fact my rent goes up 7.5 percent (compound interest) every year.
Here’s the regulation:
“In New York City, rent control operates under the Maximum Base Rent (MBR) system. A maximum base rent is established for each apartment and adjusted every two years to reflect changes in operating costs. Owners who certify that they are providing essential services and have removed violations, are entitled to raise rents up to 7.5 percent each year until they reach the MBR. Tenants may challenge the proposed increase on the grounds that the building has violations or that the owner’s expenses do not warrant an increase.
For New York City rent controlled apartments, rents can also be increased because of increases in fuel costs (pass-along) and in some cases, to cover higher labor costs.”
Unfortunately, the MBR, at the request of landlords submitting costs, is always changed, and the rent increase is always 7.5 percent a year. Those low-interest raises by The Rent Guidelines Board have nothing to do with Rent Control which is run by the Dept. of Finance, regulated by the DHCR, and just plain hard to pin down on what agency is responsible for what, which is why there is never any information about Rent Control rates in the paper. And why most New Yorkers continue to think it’s a bargain. And it probably is but not for senior citizens who don’t qualify for SCRIE.