The Real Deal New York

This is how mom-and-pops calculate rents

Small owners often willing to charge significantly below market for apartments
January 05, 2018 05:30PM

Small property owners often charge significantly below-market rents

The city’s professional landlords, by and large, charge rents on apartments based on what the market will bear – no more, no less. But for mom-and-pop building owners, deciding how much to charge tenants can be more of an art than a science.

“I’m not going to be pushing the top boundaries of what I could get, “Marta Satwin-Ramberg, an architect who owns a three-unit row house in Ridgewood, told the New York Times. “I’d rather rent to friends of friends. I feel like the way I set those rents are what would be bearable for me.”

According to the Rent Stabilization Association, 70 percent of its 25,000 members own one or two buildings with 48 apartments in each, tops. And many of them are willing to charge substantially below market rents, either out of empathy for renters or to keep a favorable tenant.

But that strategy is often confronted with the cold, hard reality of the market.

“We’re not only trying to keep up with inflation, but the real estate taxes have gone up. Our economy is much more fragile than larger landlords’,” said Bibi Caldarero, an artist and broker who bought a Bed-Stuy townhouse with her husband six years ago. The couple rents rent out the garden apartment for $1,800 per month, which is how “I pay my mortgage,” Caldarero said. [NYT] – Rich Bockmann