NYC landlords are sitting on apartments because rent is getting too cheap. They’d rather keep them empty.

1 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:08 ID: m246nw
NYC landlords are sitting on apartments because rent is getting too cheap. They'd rather keep them empty.
2 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:33 ID: gqh698u

Time for a vacancy tax!

ID: gqhm5pu

I like to think I'm a free market person but there really seems to be no downside to a vacancy tax. Owning empty real-estate in a crowded city should be discouraged.

ID: gqha14w


ID: gqj068v

And now the apt is leased as storage for $1. How do you enforce that?

ID: gqikbzl

How does one determine who’s deliberately keeping apartments vacant vs those who simply can’t find a tenant?

ID: gqie9ty

I’m Libertarian and free market as they come and even I think there should be a vacancy tax.

3 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:58 ID: gqha0k3

They’re only keeping them empty now because they know that any vacancy is temporary. Eventually, demand will come back and they’ll be able to fill their apartments again. It would be a much different story if a chunk of landlords were looking at involuntary, permanent vacancy. In that case, they’d have no choice but the lower their rents and attempt to make some amount of money off their investment. The only way to induce permanent vacancies is to have more homes than residents for a sustained period of time. And theres only two ways to do that 1) resorting to a deliberate strategy of ruining the city and making it the 1970s again 2) remove limits on new apartment growth and let the city build more housing than it currently needs.

ID: gqhazbz

Yeah I agree with you, they are banking on the vacancy being temporary. I think it’s temporary but who can really say at this point. In Your number 2 solution, the word “city” needs to be emphasized.

ID: gqibvet

3) Converting most office workers to WFH and converting office buildings to apartments

ID: gqj2wik

They’re only keeping them empty now because they know that any vacancy is temporary.

Based on my experience recently looking around and leasing a new apartment, I disagree. There are lots of places around me (downtown brooklyn) offering massive deals, but requiring an absurd income threshold to get them. That leads me to believe they want to and are happy to lease anything they have, and for significantly less than they were asking a year ago, but are extraordinarily cautious due to the eviction moratorium.

4 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:02 ID: gqiyuuu

Could it be that evictions are blocked so someone could move in, damage the unit, not pay, and you can't get rid of them?

If I had no way to actually collect a rent or cover the costs I wouldn't be renting a unit either.

ID: gqjcnef

The moratorium doesn’t mean they are exempt from ever paying. It just means they can’t be kicked out IMMEDIATELY. The shitty tenants absolutely still have to pay up eventually.

5 : Anonymous2021/03/10 20:52 ID: gqhq5y3

Yeah this system is fine and it works.



ID: gqi839x

Eviction* moratorium means people don't want to rent out apartments? How weird.

Edit: Made a mistake - eviction moratorium. Effect is the same, but is definitely different.

6 : Anonymous2021/03/10 20:40 ID: gqhojw2

Fuck the landlords. NYC won't get as many people back as they think with hybrid work models taking off and so many people already buying homes out in LI/Westchester. If anything, brooklyn/queens will get more residents, there's no need to live in Manhattan as there's not a huge need to live right near your office anymore.

ID: gqhrfpx

I agree that Manhattan won't see the rebound some landlords think it will. However I think is counter balanced by massive growth in Brookyln and Queens.

ID: gqi1qgp

a lot more reasons to live in nyc than to just commute to an office. also plenty of companies pro-rating incomes based on CoL. no real advantage to living outside the city.

7 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:32 ID: gqh6423

We need a Vacancy Tax.

8 : Anonymous2021/03/10 23:56 ID: gqidozj

I love how the comments are filled with people trying to convince us, i.e. renters who are the vast majority of this city, that if Landlords could raise every rent stabilized rent to market market rate, and also be allowed to evict people at will, that everything will be better for everyone.

9 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:59 ID: gqha5k1

Landlords are behaving rationally. They're worried that if they sign a lower-priced lease now, current and prospective rent laws will prevent them from ever again capturing a future market rent. Laws that prevent landlords from setting market rents reduce supply, in one way or another. This is a fine example.

ID: gqhlufm

The smarter ones are "lowering" rent by keeping rent the same but giving you the first 3 months free. So altogether that first year is 25% discount, but your official rate is the full rate.

10 : Anonymous2021/03/10 19:19 ID: gqhd3q4

this makes no sense. back in the day they kept it empty due to the sky high rents they wanted (remember the rent is too damn high person) and now once rents drop to a reasonable price they wont rent it since its cheap. what the hell. someone needs a reality check. if the price is reasonable and affordable, it can be rented

ID: gqhkqxk

back in the day they kept it empty due to the sky high rents they wanted

Curious about this take -- any sources that landlords were warehousing market rate units? I know they were doing it pre-covid due to the rent stabilization laws that made it unfavorable to renovate a stabilized unit, but I haven't heard of anyone doing this to market rate. Especially as our vacancy rate was hitting sub 2%.

ID: gqi16y9

Pretty sure it wasn't landlord's emptying places or complaining that rent was too high..

11 : Anonymous2021/03/11 04:21 ID: gqj6uho

Just rented a 2 bedroom in a VERY nice part of the UWS for $2500 that went for almost $4000 in 2019. Insane-o.

12 : Anonymous2021/03/10 19:47 ID: gqhh2ix

Why is this a problem? You can't ban evictions and then blame landlords for keeping apartments empty.

ID: gqiof4z

According to Reddit, you absolutely can. They honestly think they can just make bad policy and then if there are negative consequences, blame other people or try and ban those consequences.

13 : Anonymous2021/03/10 20:26 ID: gqhmgvf

I'm almost positive this same exact source (BI) had an article last week about how people are moving out of big cities bc of "work-from-home" and rents are coming down at an unprecedented rate. Or someone did. Just remember, the news is a product the media sells us. I mean, what do we expect? "Hey, half my building is empty. Want to rent this one at full price?"

I realize this issue is complicated, and the stakes are a little higher than say shoes or some other item where a retailer wants you to think they have a limited supply. But this kinda feels like panic driven reporting. BI capitalizing on our fears. All my friends in NYC are living on deals at the moment.

ID: gqj5n2j

From the Wikipedia article:

“After Business Insider was purchased by Axel Springer SE in 2015, a substantial portion of its staff left the company. According to a CNN report, some staff who exited complained that "traffic took precedence over enterprise reporting". In 2018, staff members were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement that included a nondisparagement clause requiring them not to criticize the site during or after their employment.”

So I’m gonna say your take is pretty accurate.

Edit: Let’s go further down the hole and realize that the parent company (43%) of the company that owns BI is also heavily invested in Real Estate:

“KKR & Co. Inc. (formerly known as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and KKR & Co. L.P.) is an American global investment company that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and, through its strategic partners, hedge funds.”

So one could potentially argue that they benefit from hyperbolic stories that cause people to panic buy homes $100k over asking in Maplewood, NJ.

14 : Anonymous2021/03/11 01:14 ID: gqimi5f

Understandable. Wtf would you rent out your property when you can’t evict, cant pass on building application fees , can’t take more than a months deposit and in some cases are paying broker fees. Not worth it.

15 : Anonymous2021/03/11 00:05 ID: gqiepne

That’s what they do in LA and everything works out fine

16 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:22 ID: gqj10tk

How is this any different than keeping them on the market and just asking for a higher price?

17 : Anonymous2021/03/10 19:04 ID: gqhaxyd


ID: gqhbk4w

Its a really poor investment with lawmakers kneecapping any legal recourse you have to get rid of tenents that refuse to pay rent

18 : Anonymous2021/03/10 19:55 ID: gqhi48j

I rather keep my property empty and enjoy my own home than to be stuck with a non paying renter due to govt mandate.

Would you willingly keep a nonpaying roomate in your home?? Ok then

ID: gqhyscl

Why wouldn't you bring in a tenant with a job and good credit?

19 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:30 ID: gqh5uab

Don't blame them for keeping it empty. The city currently forbids landlords from evicting people and even after the moratorium is lifted, this city already makes it super hard to evict people.

I know everyone loves to play the "hate the landlords game" but if you were a landlord, this is the obvious choice given the current environment.

ID: gqhwui8

I think less about the eviction ban, as that will expire. It is more about limits on future rent increases for most multiunit buildings which remain permeant until a tenant vacates. If a landlord rents a unit cheap now, that decision could impact them for decades.

ID: gqh972x

I've been a landlord, and I made good money doing it. I agreed with the tenants then, and I agree with them now. NYC landlords are assholes and deserve the hit.

ID: gqhybcd

So it's better to have no income? I'm not sure that makes sense. Am I missing something?

ID: gqh6xcl

Not to mention the inability to increase rent on rent stabilized units

ID: gqhn1qj

100%. I have a friend that owns property. Really decent guy. Cuts people deals all the time. Gave his tenants free pass on rent for several months during the pandemic. When I shared this story with him he was just like, "They want to get the best price." Simple as that. It sucks for renters, but eventually things will get back to normal or something will give.

20 : Anonymous2021/03/11 05:00 ID: gqjai7o

NYC is dead, despite what Jerry says.

21 : Anonymous2021/03/11 05:19 ID: gqjce2y

Since when landlord can’t do what they want with their properties? Last time I checked this is a free market.

22 : Anonymous2021/03/10 19:38 ID: gqhfrn8

Hopefully, remote work means rent will remain cheap and these landlords will be forced to fold or fuck off

ID: gqhlc3b

Literally just means all the people that go belly up will have their property scooped up by corporations on the cheap

23 : Anonymous2021/03/10 20:07 ID: gqhjvhy

Don't worry, they'll go back on the market later in the year perhaps, but only when they can scalp more money off working people.

24 : Anonymous2021/03/10 20:41 ID: gqhoknf

Cmon man - the market is perfect, this is the optimal solution. Living quarters should totally be an investable commodity!

25 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:04 ID: gqiz4l8

I live in a 5 story building with 2-3 apartments on each floor. I’d say probably a third of the 10-15 apts are empty right now, and most of them have been since the pandemic. One new couple moved in but other than that the apts are just collecting dust.

27 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:18 ID: gqh3z3c

Let them keep it empty, so they go bankrupt and buildings gets sold to less shitty landlords.

28 : Anonymous2021/03/10 18:56 ID: gqh9nw0

And there'll be rainbows and gumdrops will fall from the sky

29 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:33 ID: gqj258b

I love the weirdos that thing mega corps that buyout the small guys will be cool. So disconnected from reality

30 : Anonymous2021/03/11 00:28 ID: gqihblz

Parker cited data from real-estate analytics company UrbanDigs: During peak warehousing in August, landlords pulled 5,563 unrented apartments off the market. That dropped to 1,814 unrented apartments off the market in February

Is it just me or are neither of those numbers very large?

31 : Anonymous2021/03/11 01:13 ID: gqimdfg

This is stupid. Most of these are market rate units. They can offer any deals they want; at the next renewal they can jack it back up if the market has recovered. Or switch to offering 6-month leases for a few cycles to increase flexibility.

32 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:15 ID: gqj07ga

Vacancy rates are still crazy low overall.

33 : Anonymous2021/03/11 04:09 ID: gqj5pms

I feel like this is more of a consolidation too. If you own two buildings wouldn't you rather have everyone in one building instead of maintaining the second?

34 : Anonymous2021/03/11 04:46 ID: gqj98e6

NYC has significantly increased property taxes on multi unit dwellings. In many cases locking in a year of a lease is locking in a year of operating losses. Landlords are betting that the rental market will bounce back in the near term.

35 : Anonymous2021/03/11 05:18 ID: gqjc8sa

I’m hunting for a new apartment and honestly can confirm I’ve seen this firsthand: I’ll meet with a broker or landlord to see a unit and the whole building will have dozens of unlisted empty apartments just sitting there with the doors unlocked.

36 : Anonymous2021/03/11 05:20 ID: gqjcgps

The rents aren’t actually being lowered. It’s all preferential rates via net/gross prices from giving free months to the tenant. There’s a cutoff for every unit between giving several months of rent free vs writing off the loss of an entire year. It’s so fucked up.

37 : Anonymous2021/03/11 05:21 ID: gqjcm0v

When it’s only a handful of landlords doing this, it might work out. But this time landlords are overplaying their hand. Too much supply and too many rational landlords willing to accommodate lower demand.

Side note - while there’s technically no vacancy tax - property tax, mortgage, and maintenance still have to be paid.

38 : Anonymous2021/03/11 02:45 ID: gqix17e

fuckers. the empty office high rises should be affordable housing. getting fed up with the extreme greed of this city

39 : Anonymous2021/03/10 23:34 ID: gqib7h8

People freeze while houses rot. Squat!

40 : Anonymous2021/03/10 23:48 ID: gqicrp8

Market manipulation.

41 : Anonymous2021/03/10 23:22 ID: gqi9tcg

What I don’t get is say a place is $4k / month. They keep it vacant for 6 month as “rent is too low”. If they could have rented it for even 2k, that’s 12k on a year lease. Then they just jack up the rent for year 2 like they can anyways. Is there a tax break for vacancies or something for residential like there is for commercial?

42 : Anonymous2021/03/11 00:08 ID: gqif3t0

No that’s the issue.

There is rent stabilization laws that cap rental increases.

Let’s say precovid is 4K. Also let’s assume there is debt on the apartment building, which is pretty common.

So landlords don’t want to rent it for what market prices would be (let’s say 2k) because

1) if they lock in rents at 2k, they will not be able to change their rents to 4K in the next lease. Let’s say the rent increase is limited to 3%. It’s going to take a long time (years) to get back to 4K

2) if they rent out now at reduced rates, especially with the pandemic looking to realistically end in the next 6 months, they will lose out on the rebound of pre-Covid rates when people want to return back to New York. The multi family landlords in major cities who rented out had to give up major concessions like 3 months of free rent, reduced security deposit to 500, etc.

43 : Anonymous2021/03/11 05:06 ID: gqjb05u

NYC landlords are worse than the rats that inevitably inhabit their buildings.

44 : Anonymous2021/03/10 23:44 ID: gqicbzi

A use it or lose it law will fix that. If its empty gor more than 60 days the owner will forfeit the property over to the city for the current market value based on current rents. Or perhaps a lawsuit wiping them out for real estate price manipulation. Eminent domain can fix this.

45 : Anonymous2021/03/10 22:26 ID: gqi2wk2

Anyone who couldn't rent out the apartment should surrender it after 36 months of vacancy and auction it at the original purchase price.

46 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:03 ID: gqiyy7q

Let’s just kill them all and take their shit. Eat the rich.

47 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:46 ID: gqj3kgi

And this is why housing must be recognized as a human right. These apartments should be taken away from these landlords. Fucking scum.

48 : Anonymous2021/03/11 03:47 ID: gqj3nph

My question is: are they getting tax breaks from this?? I’d not it’s just typical landlord fuckwad behavior, if they are getting government aid and tax breaks they can just fuck off

49 : Anonymous2021/03/11 04:22 ID: gqj6xbg



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