Countless people have had the same conversation with me. It starts with I got a great deal to rent an apartment during Covid. Then my landlord raised my rent by 70%. Yes, 70%. Can you imagine your landlord telling you they will increase your rent by thousands of dollars? It is so ridiculous that you want to laugh, but what we should all be doing is getting very angry.
Real estate families own NYC. There are so many families in NYC that own real estate. It is mind-boggling but not shocking. Over the past years, I have learned more about those families looking for a space for Gotham, our new cannabis store.
As our country teeters on entering a recession, these landlords are just giving it a kick toward reality. Their desire to get the same prices they hoped they would be able to get pre-Covid was killing people then; it is now worse. They drive people out of the city, particularly the heart and soul, such as teachers, professors, artists, and restaurant owners. The people that make sure this city hums with energy. Their salaries can not afford these rents- it is pure math.
Looking like an extension of Wall Street at every turn will make NYC look like Hong Kong. It is time for NYC and NY State governments to do something. Impose a new rent regulation where you can only raise your rent by a certain percentage annually. It will force many to stop using their buildings as asset classes to pull money out of every time lending money is inexpensive.
This greed is killing the city and creating a housing problem. It is up to NY State to build more middle-income housing, but it is also up to the state to regulate the greed of the landlords. It is time to end landlords using their tenants to service their debts.