On the MyFace today I stumbled on an article about the now-famous Herbert J. Sukenik who lived in rent-controlled apartment overlooking Central Park.
Herb was a bit of a loner who moved into a small 350 square foot apartment back in 1974 and settled in for the long haul.
The short version of the article above was that a developer eventually paid Herb $17-million to move out of his apartment AND let him live in another $2-million apartment for the rest of his life at a newly negotiated LOWER rent of $1 – a month! All this in order to be able to demolish the old structure on Central Park West for which they had purchased for $401-million and developed for $1-BILLION.
I would LOVE to be that guy!
Argh! Can you imagine? You move into a little studio for $750 per month and eventually turn it into $17-million and a free apartment for life? And you never put up a dime of your own money? Amazing!
What kills me…
The whole notion of real estate ownership is that YOU (as the owner) should be allowed to do whatever you want – because it’s YOUR property.
It makes my entrepreneurial soul cringe when I hear that a property owner is losing $1800 a month because a rent-controlled apartment SHOULD be renting for $2500 a month but is rent-controlled at $700 a month. Where’s the incentive to be a landlord? How do you plan for improvements? Besides the fact that you can’t afford to upgrade the apartment, nor why would you when someone is paying below-market rent…. But what if the building needs upgrades like an updated fire-safety system, or a new roof, or new elevators?
What would YOU do if you were in Herb’s shoes?
Or better yet, what would you do if you were in the OWNER’s shoes?
We don’t have rent-control in South Florida so this isn’t an issue that we have to deal with here. In fact, I’d say that the climate is even more favorable for landlords and property owners in South Florida. A lot of landlords let tenants rent on month-to-month leases, which are convenient for the tenants that need flexibility (or are deadbeats who are barely living month-to-month anyways) but it sure makes it easy for a landlord to give notice and move a tenant out of an apartment for nearly any reason. In fact, on month-to-month leases here in Florida, without a longer notice written into a lease, the required notice is TWO WEEKS! Yikes!