New York City’s Rent-Regulated Tenants Excluded From Amenities


And if you’re a landlord, vice versa

From the NYT: What’s Next, a Bouncer?

Let’s see Rent Control for what it really is: a forced subsidy from landlords to tenants, a gift from politicians to renters in return for their votes and campaign contributions. It’s the equivalent of requiring landlords to write big checks to their tenants every month with the added insult of not even being able to refuse to rent to them.

From the New York University Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy we learn the median rent for a rent-regulated apartment in Manhattan in 2011 was $1,321 a month, 51% lower than the $2,696 median for market-rate units. Why should these subsidized tenants, who receive this benefit tax-free, expect to be welcomed to improvements and amenities designed to attract new market-rate occupants?

We’re now faced with whining New Yorkers (the worst kind of New Yorkers?) complaining they’re denied access to new gyms, playrooms and rooftop gardens while simultaneously refusing to pay full rent for the apartments and amenities they already receive.

Like most price controls, those who favor them are usually unable or unwilling to understand the strongest counter argument: the other party gets to make adjustments after the controls are imposed.

A forced subsidy by the landlord ruins the landlord-tenant relationship, taking it from the pursuit of win-win outcomes to coercion-based negative-sum wars of attrition. Market-rate tenants partner with their landlords for a mutually-beneficial arrangement while rent-controlled tenants merely parasitize them.

Potential landlords won’t build new housing, rents stay high, and the demand for rent control increases, locking everyone into a vicious cycle of housing market destruction, while politicians insert themselves into the relationship and collect votes and campaign contributions from both sides. Developers want to build housing, and tenants want to rent apartments; the best a politician can hope for is to be an Officious Intermeddler (Wikipedia).

So, no, you won’t get access to the new rooftop garden; your landlord sees you as a politically-favored parasite and he wants you gone.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing, Markets That Won't Clear, Officious Intermeddler, Rent Control, You're Not Helping and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply