Via City Realty
In an effort to demystify property ownership and management company networks across New York City, JustFix.nyc, a Brooklyn-based tenant advocacy nonprofit, launched a new tool today to help tenants easily obtain the information they need to deal with difficult landlords. The free tool, available at WhoOwnsWhat.nyc, aims to cut through some of the opaque practices of landlords, like the tendency to use a shell company or LLC to preserve their anonymity. The platform makes it possible to connect dots that are often hidden and will provide tenants, housing advocates, and local officials with the information to fight speculative behavior, harassment, and discrimination.
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In the midst of an affordable housing crisis, rents in New York City continue to rise, a record number of New Yorkers make up the city’s homeless population and the amount of rent regulated apartments are in danger of vanishing completely. An investigation released Sunday by the New York Times found rent-stabilized apartments have been disappearing since city and state lawmakers first eradicated rent laws in 1993. Since then, the city has lost more than 152,000 regulated apartments as a result of landlords exploiting weak regulations and pushing out rent-regulated tenants, with little or no consequence from city and state agencies. And another 130,000 more apartments have been lost due to expiring tax breaks and co-op and condo conversions.
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Finding that perfect New York City apartment can be tough, but pulling together all of that cash for the security deposit can be even tougher. A brand new startup, Rhino, wants to help renters throughout this process by eliminating security deposits. Instead, through the firm, renters would pay a monthly fee, starting at $19 (h/t Crain’s).
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In New York City there are currently about one million rent stabilized apartments–about 47 percent of the city’s rental units. So why is it so hard to snag one? What are the benefits of having one (other than affordable rent, of course)? According to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board nearly 250,000 rental units have lost the protections of rent regulation since 1994. Why are we “losing” so many of them?
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- A new type of post-recession real estate fraud is wreaking havoc on Brooklyn neighborhoods like Canarsie, East New York, and Cypress Hills. [Brooklyn Brief]
- Landmarked Brooklyn Lyceum sells at auction for $7.6 million. [Brownstoner]
- Appraiser Jonathan Miller looks at what would happen if we eliminated rent regulation. [Bloomberg]
- Kiefer Sutherland’s former Steven Gambrel-designed Greenwich Village townhouse is back on the market for $20 million. [Curbed]
- Certain prominent apartment buildings are dominated by pieds-à-terre. [NYT]
Images: Brooklyn Lyceum via Brooklyn Relics (L); Kiefer Sutherland’s former home at 763 Greenwich Street via Urban Compass (R)