How Do You Feel About the Space You Rent?

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

an apartment building toy set (diepuppenstubensammlerin/flickr)

Whether you grew up in the space you rent or moved in last month, we want to hear about your relationship with your rental unit. Have you ever renovated it? How is the space affecting you financially? If you move a lot, what's your approach to your space?

Comments [18]

oscar from ny

And BTW ppl of NY the same ppl who put deblasio as mayor are the same who put Mr president in the white house..these devils use reverse psychology because the mass doesn't understand what's going on they play this black and white trick but in reality these are bedbugs and only suck on young blood...these new yuppies from other states have no clue they're just use to their old towns full of racism so when they arrive in NY these bedbugs make mince meat out of them and steal all their money..but since most of these young white folks get money from their patents back home they spoil themselves with alcohol and music to drown out their ignorance of what's truly going on...I'm Latino from NY so when they talk to me they're so use to the Mexicans they think all Latinos are like the Latinos back home...I get treated like a second class citizen and trust me they love and think their dogs are better than us...the devils are having a bawl across the world and make everyone uncomfortable and soon none of us will be here to point out that their evil is not good for earth...

May. 06 2014 02:56 PM
Miscellaneous from NYC

My husband and I live in a nice, safe, residential area of Brooklyn. We rent and pay a reasonable amount compared to many people I know - especially people who live in Manhattan. We even have decent street parking.

We have two big problems: 1. I believe in owning a home, as rent is just paying for someone else's equity. We are going to buy eventually. 2. People who own the houses on our street seem to believe that they also own the street in front of their houses. Even though the majority of them have long driveways and two-car garages, they want to park on the street as well and resent anyone who is parked in front of their houses. What they do is take up two spaces with one vehicle to prevent other people from parking there. That is completely insane.

I guess it is up to each individual to get the best deal s/he can based on rent, transportation to work, shopping availability, schools, parking, etc., but there are variables that become apparent only after one has selected an otherwise ideal location that may make one change his/her mind.

May. 06 2014 11:52 AM
Renter from East Village

I moved into my rent stabilized apartment in 1974. The space was unlivable( no windows)250 sq.ft. The deal was that I renovate the space, with the landlord paying material costs. Over the years he gave me the option to expand into adjoining apartments as they became vacant, which I took over and renovated. The landlord was always cooperative since he benefitted and I considered it worth it because the rent was low. The building was sold to a predatory landlord in 2007 who began harassing tenants to get them out. He claimed I had made unauthorized alterations without the previous landlords permission and took me to court on a holdover action. It was baseless and never went to trial and was demised, but it cost me $25,000. in lawyer fees. After 40 years I am still here and have fought to stay because I cannot afford to go else where, nor do I want to because, while I do not feel ownership of the apartment, I do strongly feel it is my home where I raised children and have worked my entire life.
Check out this video link of State Senator Hoylman speaking about gentrification in NYC, and the effects on tenants and the community, at a tenant rally and East Village Tenant Parade against Gentrification on Sat. He talks about how tenants rights are routinely violated by landlords with impunity in their frenzy to empty regulated apartments.
The tenants who organized this event are not rolling over and letting the landlord harass them out of their apartments. All NYC tenants, not just rent regulated tenants, should get active and learn their rights and demand that they are respected by landlords and the City.

May. 06 2014 11:48 AM
Karen from Greenwood Heights

Natalie - since when is marriage safe?

May. 06 2014 11:47 AM
Gary Trout from Manhatan

My husband and I have lived in the same rent stabalized apartment since 1974. As far as we are concerned we own this apartment. Anyone who visits our apartment asks us if the apt is a coop or condo. We have made no real changes to the place, but with careful decorative decisions and a few tweeks here and there the place holds it's own with any condo in our area of Chelsea. I do question if anyone can truly own a place in NY or anyplace else for that matter. With carrying charges, assessments and real estate taxes, the only thing you truly own is the right to renovate.

May. 06 2014 11:25 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Nah, Amy, that $3000 for a rent controlled apartment sounds very fishy.

May. 06 2014 11:19 AM
Hannah from Greenpoint

I've been living in an apartment in a small private building that truly felt like home for the past 3 years, but just last week was confronted by my landlords (who live in the building) and was reprimanded viciously for having my boyfriend over a couple nights a week- it got nasty and personal and there were obviously some major cultural and generational differences that could not be worked through and now I have to move out. I feel like my home life and has been compromised by my landlord's own family issues and like I have no control. I've come to realize that I had a false sense of home and they always just saw me as a "guest" with no real rights as a tenant.

May. 06 2014 11:16 AM

Advice to Lisa: the best time to move to a new neighborhood is before you're ready to do so. Try someplace that's a little less comfortable than Windsor Terrace.

It's frustrating to be surrounded by rich people, especially when they would never have survived here during earlier time periods. Internet resources have made NYC very friendly and accessible to everyone, whereas before a certain year transplants really had to have a desire to stay and hustle. Options are even more difficult when you're not sharing a one bedroom as a couple.

May. 06 2014 11:14 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Brian, rents under rent control caught up with & passed those under rent stabilization many years ago--I think at least a decade ago.

May. 06 2014 11:14 AM
bren from brooklyn

Nora Ephron's brilliant piece about loving and leaving... a new York apartment.

At the newyorker:

May. 06 2014 11:13 AM
Natalie from NYC

The difference between renting and owning is like the difference between dating and being married. Anyone who thinks they are safe in their rental long term, and makes renovations to suit, is absolutely nuts.

May. 06 2014 11:10 AM

My parents moved to a lot of different towns and homes when I was a kid, so I can make any space my "home."

I love using wall decals as a way to customize a space without any damage.

The caller from the LES just reminded me of my time there, when the dealers were a fixture on the corners. I smiled and greeted them as I did with any new neighbor, and they did the same. They provided a sense of security against young white guys in suits who were "slumming it" and had some strange sense of entitlement in which they thought it was acceptable to follow you home at 4am.

May. 06 2014 11:08 AM
Ronnie from the city

If you feel some level of ownership for your long-term rent-stabilized apartment, I warn you that you may be setting yourself up for heartbreak.

I lived for decades in a rent-st. apt., and raised my kid there, all the while doing everything I thought I had to do to ensure the kid would be able to succeed to the rent-stabilized lease. But there are obscure ins'n'outs hidden in the case law, which represent a trap for non-lawyers and the unwary (that the LL attorneys use as a club against you). And now the landlord is challenging the kid's succession rights, costing our family multi-thousands of dollars, and we have to face up to the fact that we might lose the apartment (depending solely on the judge's ruling). If the apt. is lost, it'll mean one less native NYer living in NY.

May. 06 2014 11:07 AM
Karen from Greenwood Heights

I'm in one of those rare good NY apr rental situations. Through a catlady rescue friend (good karma?) I was sent to a large building in north Sunset Park (Greenwood Heights, ha!) 14 years ago. The landlord and landlady gave me a great deal cause they liked me. They have passed on, but their daughter lives in the building and runs it for the family, and I am still in the building although in a larger apt now with my boyfriend, and still at below-market rates. But not sure if this is still likely - the good luck of finding non-gouging landlords. I also fear that the family might sell the building someday soon, but I can't really complain, because I've had a lovely home (yes, home) for many years.

May. 06 2014 11:06 AM
Owner from Brooklyn NY USA

As an Owner, no renovations are allowed, painting is acceptable BUT choose your color wisely because the walls must be turned back to white upon move out.

You want to change the floors ceilings and all that need to buy your own home...#getaloanandbecomeahomeowner

May. 06 2014 11:00 AM
oscar from ny

Dobt do this don't do that..or a city that claims how great it is its really not..I was reading the prerequisite to get these lottery cheap apts but you have to fill a questionare that first of all the website is incredibly confusing and its frustrating to answer petty stupid questions that will annoy anyone and really I would not qualify I mean they check my credit score and my sucks so I'm not getting nothing besides its a smoke free environment so your not allowed to do nothing but live like a Venus flytrap ..idk what's happening in this earth but its surely going to the outer limits..I'm not white or can adapt to these new laws...just the application is super hard to I'm stuck living with roommates which I can't stand..Dlife in NY sucks big time now..everyone doesn't want you to do anything because I know for a fact that the devil does this because it pleases him for us to hate one another ..I've become so racist and so is everyone else..all I hear is hatred and animosity towards one another..something so simple..I have ppl in freaking simbague Africa who have a amplier space..everyday I just get older..the gays the good ppl the devils the racist are winning the work cannot afford to pay 1500 for a studio so I can't get girl because the girls in NY have like ten males they can puck from so this city is riddled with gays and lesbians and its really the ends of days for me...everything the devil has an input and they will destroy us no matter how..

May. 06 2014 10:41 AM
Sarah from Park Slope

I hate renting! I pay way too much to get way too little space and have no control over my space - the landlord could decide to raise rent, sell the building or anything else with very little warning.

May. 06 2014 09:47 AM
Amelia from Prospect Heights

I hate my rental apartment! I live with two roommates, one of which is super hard to please so we landed in the lesser of two evils once she finished ruling almost every other place out. I'm saving up to buy my own place, but until then I absolutely hate living with roommates and can't feel like a professional adult while quibbling over who left dishes in the sink.

May. 06 2014 09:44 AM

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