So I was needing a break from internet apartment-hunting, so for fun I started checking out apartments in New York. After my earlier post about micro-apartments, I wondered what the rents were for regular apartments.
The rental situation in New York is really interesting. They have rent-controlled apartments, and rent-stabilized apartments. So what’s the difference?
According to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), rent-controlled apartments are those constructed before February 1947. The tenant (or lawful beneficiary) must have occupied the unit since July 1, 1971. Conversely, rent-stabilized apartments are generally those built between February 1, 1947 and January 1, 1974. The rent is capped yearly. However, if the rent exceeds $2,500 following vacancy, the unit may be deregulated.
And those are the general guidelines. There are a whack of exceptions that would give me apoplexy if I was a New Yorker.
So what is the average rent in New York? According to Rent Jungle, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in NYC is $2800 a month, and a two-bedroom is over $3,000 a month. I’m surprised New York isn’t a vacant wasteland. How do working stiffs afford living there?
Let’s take a look at some apartments in the cheapest part of New York, from a rental standpoint: the Upper East Side.
Here’s a studio for $1795 a month, slightly under the usual $1800:
So if your living expenses (rent and utilities) shouldn’t exceed 30% of your monthly income, the monthly income for this unit should be at least $5000 for a single occupant or $2500 for double occupancy. However, if you’re a cabbie in NYC (and there are a lot of those) your salary is likely around the $30,000 mark.
It must be really hard to find an apartment you can afford in New York if you’re a cab driver.